“Brigade Eskwela” at Capinahan Primary School.

“Brigade Eskwela” at Capinahan Primary School.

Monday June 4th, and, another school year begins!


Summer holidays in the Philippines are over, and today our children in the Greg Secker Foundation Village go back to school.  


Last week, the parents, community, non-government organisations and other stakeholders were all involved in “Brigada Eskwela” which is a programme organised by the Department of Education whereby everyone comes together to prepare the school campus for the opening of classes.


Brigada Eskwela, also known as the “Bayanihan Para sa Paaralan (Working Together for Schools)”, added a new meaning to the Filipino concept of unity. From the image of barrio men bearing together the weight of a bahay kubo (nipa hut) on their shoulders to the image of volunteers braving storms and floods to help calamity-stricken communities, Brigada Eskwela brings to us a picture of people from different sectors of society repainting walls and blackboards, cleaning windows and doors, repairing fences and tidying the school grounds.


Capinahan Primary School has many children from our village attending so parents joined the local community and had a great day in helping tidy up, planting new plants and clearing away any old foliage.   The children made the most of playing in the play area too.



It is great to see the whole community come together like this to get the children’s school ready for the first day of term.  Even the primary teacher himself got stuck in and helped tidy up!


Read our May Newsletter.

Read our May Newsletter.

Hello from the team at the Greg Secker Foundation,

In our latest newsletter we take a look at:

The Miracle Tree: Find out about this amazing herbal plant being grown in the village.
Fatima’s story: Part II – Find out how life has changed for Fatima and her family since moving into their new home.
What have the Livelihood Consultants been up to: We now have sanitised water in the village.
GSF Summer Olympics: Who won the Basketball, Volleyball and Chess Tournaments.
CSR and Philanthropy: Our founder, Greg has been busy too – not only speaking but appearing in magazines.
Shiplake College: Hold a cake sale to raise money for the children’s school bags.
And much more…

Click on the image below to read to the latest newsletter

We hope you all enjoy reading it…
Greg, Rachel, Amy, Rosario, Sammy, Hannah, DR, Alya and Dzen


Our very own GSF Village ‘Flower show’.

Our very own GSF Village ‘Flower show’.

With the famous Chelsea Flower show happening in London this week, we wanted to keep the emphasis on flowers and other plants too.  Alya our social worker, took a little walk around the GSF village and has sent over the most amazing pictures of the village in full bloom – our very own “GSF Flower show.”


It is nearly 6 months since the beneficiaries moved into the village and already they have so many different varieties of vegetables; long beans, eggplant, tomato, lady finger, papaya and leafy green vegetables, all of which are part of their daily diet.  Nothing goes to waste when growing their vegetables either – all the pots are recycled bottles, cans and car tyres which are all used as planters!


Not only do they grow vegetables but also herbal plants such as the Moringa plant which can be used as a vitamin supplement and is amazing for cuts and burns too.


The beneficiaries have really looked after their gardens and it really shows – the produce looks fantastic.  We mustn’t forget that they are in the middle of summer too, so all the watering must be hard work to maintain such healthy crops.


The provincial government have a program in place called “Laswa sa lamesa” which means every table must have vegetables during meal times and every household must plant vegetables for their own consumption.  It is a great way to encourage the children to eat healthily. Every family that plants vegetables receives a certificate from the Chief Captain of Barangay as an incentive to grow their own produce. 


The village has come a long way in six months. To go from jungle, to bare land, to a building site, and now a thriving village.  A lot of hard work but look at the rewards.  Well done to all our families, we are so proud of you. heart


Our agricultural consultant, Ric Patricio, talks about introducing purified water into the village.

Our agricultural consultant, Ric Patricio, talks about introducing purified water into the village.


In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda), there was a sudden spike in the incidence of water-borne diseases at the affected communities. Most of the water sources were contaminated either by the flood water, effluents from septic tanks and open dumps, and oil spills.

Some days after the typhoon left Philippines and caused 6,329 fatalities, damaged crops and properties worth USD4.55 billion, and rendered thousands of families homeless, outpouring of support from within and outside was unprecedented in Philippine history. From Water Missions International (WMI) came Living Water Treatment Systems (LWTS) worth USD8.0 million at USD100,000 per unit. The town of Lemery, Iloilo became one of the recipients of the gifts from WMI.

In the same town, the Greg Secker Foundation (GSF) was benevolent in building typhoon-resilient houses for the 100 survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. To ensure that potable water is available to each household, a water system consisting of a deep well, pump, pipes and fittings, water tank, and distribution lines were installed and operated. Without provision for filtration and chlorination, however, the piped water is not guaranteed as safe for drinking.

After observing that the LWTS in the town hall was no longer used, I arranged a meeting with Mayor Ligaya Apura. When a letter requesting for the transfer of the LWTS to the GSF village was personally presented to the Mayor, she did not interpose objection as she realized its exigent need in the village.


On May 18, 2018, the LWTS was loaded onto the Local Government Unit truck and delivered to the GSF village. A location was identified where the LWTS was temporarily installed. As agricultural consultant (also country representative of WMI), I explained the manner of operating the unit to the GSF Project Manager, Coop President, and some village folks. After the inlet was attached to a pipe with running water and a chlorine tablet was placed inside the chlorinator and calibrated to 4 ppm (4 parts chlorine to 1 million parts water), purified and treated water was collected at the pipe outlet.


If operated and maintained well, the LWTS will supply the village with good drinking water for the next 25 years. I have briefed the project manager on the need to have a protective structure and water storage tank for the LWTS. On May 25, 2018, I will conduct a WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) seminar for the village folks while a separate briefing will be made with whoever is assigned as operator of the LWTS.


When the LWTS is fully functional, all the GSF village residents will be assured of continuous availability of purified and safe water, thereby making them truly water-secured.



The “Champions” of the Summer Olympics are announced.

The “Champions” of the Summer Olympics are announced.

On Monday May 7th, the Barangay officials, lead by Barangay Captain Reynaldo Sanico attended the award ceremony of the Summer Olympics in the GSF Village.  
It has been three weeks of competition time between the Basketball Teams, the Volleyball Teams and for those that preferred a more sedentary game, there was a Chess Tournament too.  
Jake Teller Costoy receiving his Chess Tournament Trophy.
Everyone from the village seemed to be involved in one way or another – there was a poster making competition which was won by Trixie Lazare, and a Logo contest which was won by Yeshien Kate Cordero. 
Trixie and her winning poster. 
The GSF Summer Olympics has really brought the teams together, and developed their camaraderie, unity and harmonious relationships with each other. As with any sporting match, there has to be a bit of competitiveness amongst the teams which added to the atmosphere on the days of matches! 
The Volley Ball Champions: ” Team Spikers”
The Basketball Champions: “Hot Babes Team”
The winners are as follows:
“Basketball Winners”
Overall Champion:    Hot Babes Team  
First:                              Sky Lovers Team
Second:                         Builders Team 
“Volleyball Winners”
Overall Champion:    Spikers Team 
First:                              Lady Warriors Team
Second:                         Hot Warriors Team
“Chess Tournament”
Overall Champion:     Jake Teller Costoy 
First:                               Juifran Toga 
Poster Making Competition:  Trixie Marie 
Logo Contest:    Yeshien Kate Cordero 
Best Banner:                Team Fighters 
Well done to all the teams who took part, and thank you to everyone that helped make the GSF Summer Olympics run so well.  
Vacation Bible School Week in the GSF Village.

Vacation Bible School Week in the GSF Village.

Last week was a very special week for the children in the village.  It was “VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL WEEK”, with the theme, “SPACE STATION 2018” and the mission, “EXPLORING OUR AWESOME GOD”.
The Bible School Week was a week long, half day activity, that focused on Christian Values and Spiritual enhancement. A team of volunteers from Lemery Fundamental Baptist Church spent the week with the children in the village. 
130 children were divided into small groups according to their ages, and every day the children were taught some bible lessons and christian values, which they would encounter in every day life.
At the end of the week there was a closing ceremony held in the social hall, with all the parents joining in too.  A certificate of completion was handed out to the children and special ribbons pinned to those who did their best and participated well.
Weddings and Christenings in the GSF Village.

Weddings and Christenings in the GSF Village.

We are thrilled that the village is being held as a location for Weddings and Christenings.  It is a special place, hidden away in the jungle, and once in the village, if you make your way to the top, you have breathtaking scenery all around you. 

Our first wedding held in the village, was between one of our beneficiaries daughters, Ana Mae who is from the Diocales family, and the groom, Wilmer from the Arante family.   The couple met in the village, when Wilmer was working on the construction of the houses. heart
The ceremony was officiated by the priest, and was witnessed by god mothers and god fathers who were chosen by the couple. 
The beneficiaries are so proud to live here and love inviting family and friends to the village to celebrate with them. Many of the mothers in the village helped with the decorations and cooking dishes for the happy couples day.  The Bayanihan spirit is very much seen on occasions like these. 
The newly wed couple will now set up home in another Barangay close to the GSF village.
We wish you all the love and happiness in the future.
Also happening in the village was the christening of two of our babies, Greg Niel Aurecencia who was born on 1 February 2018, and Lilian Grace Panaligan who was born on March 3rd 2018. Both babies were baptised by the priest, with family and friends witnessing.  It was a fantastic weekend of celebrations and parties. 
Greg Niel Aurecencia
Lilian Grace Panaligan
God Bless you both. 
April’s Newsletter

April’s Newsletter

Read all about what has been happening in the GSF Village.

Ric and Prof. Hope visit the village to talk about the Moringa plant.

Ric and Prof. Hope visit the village to talk about the Moringa plant.

From being seen as a lowly plant and considered as a vegetable of last resort in most of the 82 countries where it is geographically dispersed, Moringa has indelibly gained a reputation as “The Miracle Tree.”  In 2008, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recognized Moringa as the number one plant in the world .  In Philippines, there is a pending bill in Congress for the plant to be declared as national vegetable.

 A native of India and Western Himalayas, Moringa has been documented as widely utilized by the ancient civilization particularly by the Indians, Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks.  The genus Moringa is indigenous to several countries. These countries include Madagascar, Namibia, SW Angola, Kenya, Ethiopia, Red Sea, Horn of Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the northwestern region of the Himalayans. The plant is now grown in many tropical, arid, and semi-temperate countries.

These were highlighted by Prof. Hope Patricio, GSF agricultural consultant, during the seminar that she conducted for the housing recipients of GSF.  She added that the plant has multiple uses from the tip to its roots. It is now acknowledged by scientists and nutritionists worldwide as a rich source of protein, minerals, beta-carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, and other vitamins particularly vitamins A and C.   Pound for pound, Moringa contains 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the Vitamin A in carrots, 2 times the protein in milk, and 3 times the potassium in bananas.  Growing Moringa is like having multi-vitamins, from A to Zinc, at one’s doorstep.

People with average health find a welcome boost of energy with Moringa.  Tests showed that pregnant women recovered from anemia and had babies with higher birth weights while breast-feeding women had increased milk production.  It can be used to cure cuts, scrapes, sores, and rashes, and can modulate the body’s defense system.  Extracts from dry leaves, stem bark, and flowers can, respectively, heal ulcers, moderate high blood pressure, and lower blood sugar while extract from dried powdered leaves has a very potent depressive effect on the central nervous system, resulting in significant muscle relaxation, decreased body temperatures, and increased sleep time.

After Prof. Patricio had emphasized the methods of propagation, cultural requirements and benefits from regular intake of  Moringa, she was assisted by Ric Patricio, DR June Sanico, and Dzen Patriarca, GSF agricultural consultant, project manager, and social worker, respectively,  in the actual preparation of Moringa powder and capsule, as well as Moringa tea with crushed ginger and cut lemon grass.  Some participants tried the manual capsule filling protocol and everyone tasted the Moringa health drink later on, which they found refreshing and acceptable.

In the near-term, each village household will hopefully have at least two Moringa plants in the yard for fresh consumption and for processing into  micronutrient powder, tea, probiotic capsule, juice, or an energy drink, thereby improving the nutrition and health of the family members.

Prof. Hope shares her expertise on Moringa with the beneficiaries.


Rick holds a demonstration on processing of dried Moringa leaves into a powder form. 


Ingredients for the preparation of Moringa tea, using fresh Moringa leaves, lemon grass and ginger.  Sounds delicious. 


Ric and Prof. Hope Patricio join the Foundation.

Ric and Prof. Hope Patricio join the Foundation.

We are delighted to announce that Ric and Professor Hope Patricio have joined the Greg Secker Foundation, as Consultants and Advisors for the Livelihood and Sustainability Programme in the GSF Village. 

Professor Hope is a Professor in Soil and Horticultural Sciences at Central Philippine University, while Ric was former Professor in the same university and served as director of its planning and development office. He was former National Consultant for UNDP and the World Food Programme, Regional Economist Consultant for Asian Development Bank, Socio-economist Consultant for The World Vegetable Center, and International Agricultural Consultant of Goducate.

Aside from Ric’s current engagement with GSF, he is Agricultural Consultant for PT Unimax Power Indonesia, Corporate Secretary of Unimax Power Asia Philippines, and country resident agent of Water Missions International, USA.

As you can see, we are extremely honoured to have such a wealth of experience and knowledge joining us.  

Stay tuned to hear what incredible work they have already begun….

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