Oct 23, 2014
GAP Labs’ October 2014 team day was a resounding success, with the staff going out into the local community and gathering dozens of stories from those affected by Typhoon Yolanda. The purpose was to engage the community, bond as a team, and collect stories to feature on a project of GAP Labs called Storya.ph.
Breaking into small groups, GAP Labs employees spread out all over Tacloban and surrounding regions to interview community members about their experiences during and after the typhoon. Many had been displaced by the storm and were still residing in temporary housing projects. Most were happy to share their stories, and although deeply saddened at times, many were happy to have someone listen.
The stories gathered were both tragic and beautiful, heart breaking and inspiring. Every member of the Tacloban community remembers that day vividly and their lives have all been affected strongly by the typhoon in one way or another. Amazing stories of both community strength and individual bravery flooded in from all over the city.
Afterwards the GAP Labs team reunited to eat lunch, share their experiences from the morning, and then begin to transcribe interviews together. For the rest of the day employees were hard at work reconstructing the stories from recordings and interview notes into narrative form. At the end of the day nearly 50 stories had been collected, and can all be read on Storya.ph.
They then ended with reflection and recognition of each team’s efforts to collect stories. Additionally a compilation video which had been put together from the day’s interviews was shown, and some of the most powerful stories which had been gathered were read aloud.
This team day was a change of pace from usual GAP Labs bonding experiences, which generally involve a lot of laughter, excitement, and fun activities. Instead the stories, inspirational or somber, served as an important reminder of a shared experience which has brought not only the GAP Labs team but the entire community of Tacloban closer together. Typhoon Yolanda’s shadow still looms large, but the strength and resilience of the people which it affected grows forever stronger.