Hope after Haiyan: Greg Secker Builds in the Philippines

Greg Secker info

 

Forex guru Greg Secker recently lent a hand to typhoon victims in the Philippines, and pulled-in some star power to help. With former world boxing champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. at his side, Secker officially tuned over 100 homes to Filipinos devastated by 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan. The homes, located in Capinahan, Lemery, and Iloilo, were funded by the Greg Secker Foundation. For Donaire, charitable giving to housing projects has been a priority since Donaire made a sizable contribution to relief effort in the Philippines following 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy. Donaire, known as the “Filipino Flash” in the boxing community, credits his roots in the Philippines as providing a solid foundation for his forays into business and boxing. Giving back to neighbors in the Philippines after Haiyan was yet another natural expression of gratitude from Donaire to the people who helped in his formation.

 

Calling the initiative, “Build a House, Build a Home,” Secker and colleagues from his philanthropic enterprise, The Greg Secker Foundation, identified Lemery as an appropriate place to coordinate the bulk of the build, as Lemery was terribly impacted when Typhoon Haiyan rolled ashore. The village provides suitable housing with full utilities to victims of the typhoon, while also offering access to educational and vocational resources.[1] While not the first project conducted by the Greg Secker Foundation, “Build a House, Build a Home,” is perhaps the most ambitious project in the Foundation’s portfolio, providing sweeping, positive impacts to communities deeply affected by the 2013 storm.

 

Surrounded by tropical waters and easterly wind patterns, the Philippines are especially at risk for encountering significant storms. Super typhoon Haiyan, which locals in the Philippines named “Yolanda,” made landfall on November 8, 2013. Impacting over 14 million Filipinos with its swath of destruction, Haiyan contributed to 6,183 deaths in the Philippines along with 28,626 injuries. Over a half million homes were destroyed by Haiyan’s wind and surf, leading to the displacement of over 4 million citizens. Rosario Sanico, a family friend of Greg Secker who had many family members and friends living in Lemery at the time of the typhoon’s landfall, notified her friend of the devastation created by the storm. Norman and Genero, Sanico’s brothers, lost their homes and livelihoods in the aftermath of Haiyan. Moved by the depictions of destruction and the stories of Filipino citizens “starting over,” Greg Secker immediately put his foundation to work to put individuals like Norman and Genero back into homes. Upon arriving in Lemery, Secker discovered that that there was an immense need in the region stretching far beyond Lemery. Residents with insufficient funds to replace or restore their homes were forced into temporary housing or shanties assembled from materials salvaged from the typhoon. As Secker rightly assumed, temporary housing put Filipinos in greater peril should additional typhoons develop in the region.

 

As the plan for permanent housing evolved in the aftermath of Haiyan, Greg Secker sought buy-in from community members and experts with an eye on sustainability. Using local connections already in place through Secker’s friend Rosario, Foundation principals gleaned support and ideas from Lemery residents, student engineers, and architects.[2] Recognizing that any workable project required land for building, the Foundation solicited proposals for land donation and purchase, with Rosario leading the way with a five-acre donation.[3]

 

Greg Secker will be the first to admit that philanthropic endeavors like the build in the Philippines wouldn’t be possible without his success in the Forex arena. Educated at the University of Nottingham, Secker’s entrepreneurial acumen led him from Thomas Cook to Mellon with a stop in between at Virtual Trading Desk (VTD), an online platform offering investors real-time quotes on the huge transactions unfolding in the foreign currency markets. Secker eventually established his own business success through Forex trading and then developed an educational platform he deployed to teach his methods to “hungry” entrepreneurs. Greg’s company, Learn to Trade, has engaged more than 200,000 clients eager to generate a second income or establish Forex trading as their primary means of income generation.[4] Twice awarded “Best Educator” by World Finance Magazine and recently awarded “Best Forex Educator” by Global Banking & Finance Review, Secker continues to share his passion for people and finance in diverse, persuasive ways.[5]

 

Both Secker and Donaire recognize that the post-typhoon hardships in the Philippines may impact families in communities like Lemery for years to come. Further, additional storms will continue to threaten the island country when subsequent typhoon seasons return in the summer and fall. With an emphasis on sustained support through education, job preparation, and the like, Secker’s foundation intends on providing far more than triage. Access to excellent housing and terrific training opportunities give storm-weary Filipinos the spaces and supports they need to weather future disruptions to life and livelihood.

[1] Extracted from: http://www.gregseckerfoundation.com/initiatives/build-a-house-build-a-home/

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Extracted from: http://www.gregseckerfoundation.com/team/greg-secker/

[5] Ibid.