Learning from Yolande/Haiyan

Disaster Response, Community Resilience
and the Role of Asian Universities

An International Conference and Service Learning Program


At the end of June through early July, GFSC Advisory Council member, Mark Pixley (Managing Director, LEADERSHIP INC) introduced the GFSC Crisis>Change>Choice Disaster Recovery model and was a resource person, providing guidance on facilitation and reflection tools at a conference that was part of the preparation for a service learning program for college students in Asia to come to the Philippines and live for a week in communities impacted by the typhoon while undertaking recovery projects. In preparation for these community visits a three day conference was held to introduce the participants to “Disaster Response, Community Resilience and The Role of Asian Universities.” Mark facilitated several activities for more than 200 students including 80 from overseas (Korea, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, India) and 120 from 8 Filipino Universities.

Dr. Shrive, one of the project organizers, had been introduced to the GFSC model in the past and felt it was an important context for the students to understand disaster recovery for individuals and communities. Mark introduced the GFSC model, illustrating the basic structure of Crisis>Change>Choice and the implications of effective vs. non-effective strategies. He reinforced the developing nature of recovery by sharing notes from Bob Stigler’s article on the Japan recovery. Mark also served as a resource for a variety of other creative applications that would help the participants in this much-needed service learning project. The nature of service learning puts a strong emphasis on using reflective processes including maintaining journals and encouraging the faculty to facilitate group conversations.  Another  interesting presentation outlined “Reflection in Service-Learning” and also mentioned the ORID process. The Conference had a wonderful mixture of people talking about the disaster and community resilience and how different institutions (governments, churches and universities) have been responding including examples from Indonesia and China. The universities, because of their students, have an adaptable resource for repacking and distributing efficiently.


 Best wishes from GFSC!