LEMERY, Iloilo—Over 580 victims of Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) gained new homes over the weekend following the completion of the initial phase of the “Build a House, Build a Home, Restore a Community Project” run by the Greg Secker Foundation.
Over two years, 100 typhoon-proof houses have been built for 100 families in the town of Lemery, along with full access to utilities and essential life-preserving services.
As part of the project’s first phase, beneficiaries have also received educational lectures on a variety of topics including earthquake safety, health and safety, waste management, recycling, and basic medical training.
In addition, there is now a free-of-charge crèche (nursery) on-site to enable mothers and fathers to work in the village, and a Saturday school for children run by the Central Philippine University.
To deliver on its aim to restore a community, the Foundation will soon begin the second phase of its project. To ensure the village’s sustainability, a range of further facilities and farming projects will be developed.
These will include a business center to help kick-start local businesses, such as grocers, restaurants, and pharmacies, and a training center for education and skills development. Already, a group of mothers in the village have started a pickled papaya business, which is thriving in the local community.
Greg Secker, CEO and founder of the Foundation, said: “This project holds a very personal space in my heart, and to see its first phase completed fills me with joy.”
“Sustainability and growth are the main goals here now. This will not be a case of throwing money at a problem, rather a journey to helping the village independently thrive again. I also want to encourage people who are fortunate enough to be in a position where you could help those in need to get out there and make a difference,” Secker added.
“You have the means to change people’s lives, and doing so is the most rewarding thing anyone can possibly do,” he said.
The project is run with the full support from the Provincial Government Office in Iloilo. It provided all heavy equipment to the site and prepared the land for construction. It was also responsible for the rehabilitation of the road from Lemery to the new village. The project is also fully supported by the local Government of Lemery.
Governor Arthur Defensor said: “The Local Government Unit of Lemery, Iloilo is very grateful to the Greg Secker Foundation for its laudable housing project in Barangay Capiñahan, Lemery, Iloilo for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). According to Helen Keller, and I quote, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
“This project was made possible because of the dedication, hard work and commitment of the Greg Secker Foundation, the Local Government of Lemery and the Province of Iloilo. May we continue our partnership and oneness in providing services for our people especially those who are under privileged who needs us in building better lives and better communities for them,” Defensor added.