On the day of the typhoon twelve of them hid inside the workshop.
“At first we were relaxed because we thought it was an ordinary typhoon” said Jemalyn, a project manager at the Cooperative. “I thought it was just a mild wind but then the water started coming in.”
“It was very deep and rose fast up to my waist. We were scared and crying and shivering. We managed to smash a hole in the back wall to let the water out” she said.
“The workers of the co-operative are like a family, we have been through so much together. The Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] has separated us. I don’t know what will happen to our future now.”
Jemalyn does not know whether all of the thirty members are safe. “I have not been able to contact some of the members” Jemalyn said. “Some have left Tacloban already but others I do not know where they are” she said.
Jemalyn describes how afraid the group has felt over the past eight days. “At night I hear people come and rattle the lock to see if they can get in. We are frightened because we are mostly women here. We are on the mountain side and there are no neighbours” she told us. “I have heard of rapes happening in the city and without men here I am very afraid” Jemalyn said.