Trading for Aid
On Wednesday 25th of January, we had our first Charity Trade-A-Thon of 2017 in the London offices of Learn to Trade. It’s been 2 years since we held it last and we are so pleased so many of LTT’s clients showed such a keen interest in the event and in our programmes.
Now some of you might be wondering what a tradeathon is. Trade-A-Thon’s are live trading days that the foundation holds with Learn to Trade. It is a fundraising event where all the profits from the ticket sales and the commission from the brokerage go straight to the Foundation and our Build a House, Build a Home programme.
It’s not that usual to associate currency traders with charity, but the two are far from exclusive. We met so many engaged traders on Wednesday with a key passion for contribution. Together they traded for aid and raised as much as £15,722 towards our housing building project in the Philippines!
Although 12 hours is a long day, we had so much fun – with magicians, DJs and massage therapists joining us in the breaks. As well as LTT’s four top traders doing 2 h shifts each, trading the currency market live with the attendees.
Thanks to all attendees for an amazing event, and to LTT staff for making Trade-A-Thon happen.
The next tradeathon here in the UK is scheduled for March 29h, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you just want to have a chat. We do love to chat!
The GSF team x
It’s rainy season here in the Philippines and heavy rains have been hitting Lemery for the past weeks. The rain has been so persistent that it’s caused flooding covering over 1m in neighbouring towns! This morning we had our second board meeting in the Philippines, where the key topic was slope protection and the safety of our workers and beneficiaries. The location of our site is extremely hilly, and heavy rainwater has eroded large segments of our land in parts of the area.
We are there for looking at an extensive system of slope protection to ensure our site remains safe. Working on programmes in countries that are frequently hit by natural disasters has its issues, but also its solutions. We hope to build back better, and we hope you will join us by donating a brick, and sending us your #BrickPic this #GivingTuesday! On November 29th, we’ll be launching our #BuyABrick campaign where we will be asking people to buy a brick for £5 and send us their #BrickPic.
As we need more extensive slope protection than originally estimated, we really need your help in order to get there. We are now focusing our efforts on slope protection and have two currently in place and several in the planning stages! Our land is safe, but we want to ensure that it remains safe for generations to come.
The Philippines are hit by approximately 20 Typhoons each year, and with scientists predicting these to become stronger in the future, now is the time to look at how we can help mediate the effect of the weather and ensure our beneficiaries will be safe and have a home to call their own for several generations. If you’re interested in helping, why not give us some of your cyber change and buy a brick for £5 today!
Media coverage from our July trip
“We want to help our beneficiaries thrive, not just survive. Providing them with the skills will make them resilient,”
– Greg Secker.
We’re in the The Daily Guardian! It’s been a bit over one week since our team was in Lemery helping with housing construction and breaking the ground for the next iteration. We are so lucky to have great supporters and to be welcomed with open arms from the government, local officials, the media, and most of all the community of Lemery!
Our second groundbreaking was followed closely by Philippine media and our visit in the Philippines started with a press conference in Manila before flying to Iloilo.
The foundation featured in ABS-CBN’s Fish n’ Town show as well as several newspapers and radio channels.
I highly recommend reading some of the great articles written on our Build a House, Build a Home project by the Manila Standard Today, Philippine Star and The Manila Times.
All our media coverage can also be found on our media page, so make sure to check it out!
Greg volunteering on site
The time has finally come. Greg and some of the directors of his companies have the past few days been volunteering on site, doing tasks such as painting, landscaping, and filling sand bags.
We started the trip with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new iteration of houses.
We are close to completion on the first iteration with 20 homes, with the next iteration of 30 homes now underway.
The foundation is very close to Greg’s heart and working for the foundation is like being adopted into the Secker family. It was therefore a no-brainer that he brought his parents along to the trip. John Secker was painter extraordinaire and Sandy Secker was the chief water woman!
Everyone was put to work during the day, even Micheal, one of our donors who just sponsored a family home. Micheal spent his spare time from filling sandbags, getting to know the family that he is giving a new lease in life.
In the evening we celebrated with the workers and beneficiaries. Karaoke is very big in the Philippines, so each night when the sky became dark, the Karaoke machine was put to work. Young and old gathered together to sing, some better than others, but all entertaining in their own way.
First Employee Volunteers
For years Greg’s companies have been supporting the charity financially. Now staff have a chance to get hands-on and get a personal connection with the project! The first Employee Volunteers went out on the 25th of July and were on site till the 1st of July.
Abi, Barbie and Jonny from LTT UK, SA and Phil have been great and got properly stuck in with painting. It’s been a very warm week, with the occasional thunderstorms, but the team have just carried on and worked really well with our engineers and workers.
DR and I are very happy to have had the opportunity to work with them this week and see first hand their enthusiasm for the project grow day by day.
On day four of volunteering, our dedicated team met with Raffy. Raffy is one of the Foreman on site, currently leading a team of 8 workers to build two houses of the first 20. Raffy and his family are one of the many beneficiaries of the project. He showed the volunteers his handy work and stopped outside what is to be his and his family’s home. He was very proud when he told them about the hard work and love he’s put into the building and made them all laugh by claiming it’s the best looking out of all of them! (They have identical designs). It was a very busy day where the volunteers painted not one but three houses! The highlight though is the truly humbling experience of meeting such great and inspirational people like Raffy.
As well as painting houses, the volunteers have also helped with the beneficiary selection. They have gone through close to 150 applications and rated them as yes, maybe or no. The first stage of beneficiary selection has now finished and stage two is due to start, with Greg taking over the helm.
Next employee volunteers to come on the site is Greg and some of the directors of his companies! I for one am really looking forward to telling my boss what to do on a construction site. Now that is something that doesn’t happen every day.
This cannot be missed, so stay tuned!
Had such a great time at the Manila-based orphanage, House of Refuge, handing over the medical clinic we have sponsored for the orphanage!
Now some of you might not know that Greg’s grandmother was an orphan who was taken in by Dr. Barnardo’s. Greg often says that if it wasn’t for him, he might not be here today. Children and especially orphans are therefore very close to the Foundations heart. Last year, Greg visited the House of Refuge, as a part of a Christmas initiative he does with staff from his companies to provide Christmas joy to the less fortunate called Basket Brigade. Each year, Greg and his companies find a local cause close to their office and donate care packages in form of food and presents for children. In 2015, the Philippines-based staff of Learn to Trade went to House of Refuge, an orphanage that cares for abandoned and neglected children who live or work on the streets.
When there, Greg heard their plans to build a medical centre for the children under their care. These remarkable young children have been through a lot, and when they are rescued, suffer from multiple conditions which need medical care. House of Refuge has doctors that volunteer at their centre, but sometimes needed to take the children to the hospital to spend the night or to do more checks. For some of the children, it was quite traumatic to be taken away from a space where they finally felt safe, so the refuge wanted to expand their services and provide the children with holistic care at their own premises.
Greg and the team were so inspired by the hard work of the House of Refuge staff, and the change this fantastic charity has made to the lives of hundreds of children. At the time, the orphanage had one major donor covering half of the cost of the medical centre. After speaking to the board, we decided that the foundation would help them in reaching their goal and decided to fund the remaining so the kids would have their new medical clinic. Two months later the other donor pulled through, but we felt that this was something the children could really benefit from and decided to shoulder the entire cost to help them.
We are so happy to announce that in July that promise was fulfilled and we opened the doors to a brand new two-storey medical clinic kitted out with medical equipment and child-friendly furniture. It’s been so appreciated that the children sometimes pretend to be sick, just so they can spend the night in one of the two sick rooms and play with the toys. We are so happy to be able to assist this fantastic organisation and so grateful to be a part of these wonderful and talented children’s lives!
The clinic is dedicated and named after Greg’s grandmother, Maud Chapel.
It’s been a truly great and emotional day for us all and with that, we sign off for today.
GSF Summer BBQ
Yesterday, we held a fundraising event for the Manila-based orphanage, House of Refuge Foundation. The funds raised go towards providing their new medical clinic (sponsored by the Greg Secker Foundation) with medical equipment, medicine, and other supplies.
We had such an amazing time and have had such great feedback from the guests!
All the funds raised goes towards purchasing medical equipment and medicine for the House of Refuge who we sponsored with a medical clinic earlier this summer.
Greg’s Press trip to the Philippines
Greg is in Manila, speaking about the Foundation and his companies. He’s asked to be kept busy, so we’ve taken the challenge and put it back on him! As soon as Greg landed at Manila airport, he was whisked off to a press conference attended by some of the Philippines’ top newspapers and TV Companies, all keen to hear about the Multi-millionaire Philanthropist building a village in Iloilo and the opening of his Learn To Trade Office in the city.
The Philippine Star were quick to get a one on one interview and the news was released the very next day.
It is not easy being a charity ambassador, especially when your team know your dedication and are not afraid to put you to the test.
After a short night’s sleep, due to jetlag, he was off to the Learn to Trade offices to meet his team and straight into meetings. It wasn’t long before the TV crews had tracked him down and before he knew it was being interviewed by Arma Bacar from Rated K TV.
Greg’s schedule didn’t get any quieter – over the next few days he was been interviewed by Entrepeneur TV, ABS-CBN Philippines, appeared live on UNTV Breakfast TV, Live on Radio DWIZ, interviewed by Philippine Graphic Magazine and finally a live guest on CNN Philippines.
Listeners from Radio DWIZ were surprised to hear that the village is entirely funded by forex traders doing good, rather than the bad reputation that normally comes with forex traders.
Safe to say, our scheduling for Greg this week has left him with minimal sleep. We’re sorry Greg, but you can sleep when you get back home 😉
You can comfort yourself by being crowned king of the press by the rest of the team!
We are so happy to announce that we will be starting a brand new volunteering programme with Learn to Trade, Capital Index, Smart Charts and FX Capital! Starting in July we will be hosting the employee volunteers at our Build a House, Build a Home project. The employee volunteers will be assisting the workers with a variety of tasks, all from painting to landscaping, and construction.
The first employee volunteers will be on site from the 27th of June until the 1st, to then be followed by Greg and some of the directors of his companies mid-July. We cannot wait to show them the progress of the project, and to introduce them to our lovely beneficiaries!
Happy International Literacy Day
Happy International Literacy Day everyone! On this great day, we want to share a story from one of our beneficiaries.
Agatha, is one of our beneficiaries from our Build a House, Build a Home project. She is a very clever girl but comes from a poor background where the parents have struggled to afford to send their children to school and to find the time to help them with homework. She only has access to books and writing materials at school and even they suffer from a limited supply. That, however, has not stopped Agatha. She has a passion for learning and has just received a star from school for excelling at her work. She’s only 5 and already speaks and writes a little English! We are so proud of her and her sisters and are looking forward to seeing her continue to shine in the years to come.
Literacy breaks barriers and builds bridges. That is why literacy plays such a key role in all the projects we have and charities we support.
Nobody said it better than Kofi Annan:
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”