Master of Disaster is one of ASSIST’s original social initiatives that was first conceptualized in 2013. It has since undergone many changes, faced many challenges, and continues to overcome the test of time. As the lasting consequences of being unprepared and unequipped to face disasters become more apparent, Master of Disaster has become a key, innovative resource to build resilient homes, businesses, and communities in the Philippines and India.
Communities Coming Together for Resilience
Each country faces its own challenges in crafting solutions that can address disasters and their consequences. India and the Philippines are both immensely disaster-prone and the ASSIST team has long been looking for ways to bring Master of Disaster and the best practices gained from its successes in the Philippines to India.
ASSIST was supported by Wishberry, the number one crowdfunding platform in India, in the creation of a crowdfunding campaign to foster a safer and more resilient India. From February 8 to March 16, 2020, ASSIST campaigned to get support from communities and individuals that could support Master of Disaster: Conducting test runs in schools and organizing focus group discussions with disaster management experts to localize the game.
Thanks to the 121 people that backed the campaign, ASSIST was able to raise ₹4,00,700, funds which will be dedicated to translation, prototyping, organizing focus group discussions and test runs, project management, and expert support.
MOD is the first of its kind in India. It is a great medium of learning through play – it promotes responsibility, teamwork apart from educating kids and youth on disaster preparedness. It is a good way to mobilize volunteers to build disaster preparedness in India among the private and public sectors, the academe, and more.
The Board Room Cafe Game Night
On the 28th of February 2020, ASSIST, in association with the Board Room Cafe, organized a gaming event, “Master of Disaster” to help raise awareness on disaster resilience and preparedness. More than 30 people, including professional gamers, young professionals from the startup world, college students, kids, teachers, NGO and corporate professionals, played the board game, “Master of Disaster.”
The event was organized to discuss and promote the game in the context of disaster resilience in the Indian context. India ranks 5th in the Global Climate Risk Index, and awareness on what to do in case of a disaster is extremely low. Now, ASSIST is bringing the game to India, with modifications suited to the local disaster context. This toolkit takes the form of a game that children in schools can play, to imbibe and understand the basics of disaster response and preparedness.
MOD at WORK
Seventy employees of Wells Fargo participated in a training of trainers event for Master of Disaster on March 29, 2020. The company has been providing support to the City of Taguig, particularly in the area of disaster resiliency, and the Master of Disaster is a tool to complement that advocacy. After the training of trainers, Wells Fargo employees were equipped to share their learnings with their fellow colleagues and engage beneficiary schools and communities as Masters of Disaster.
Testimonials from Wells Fargo Employees:
“Obviously, the kids will enjoy this game because we ourselves enjoyed it… when we go to the community and teach the youth, we have to let them enjoy the game but we must ensure that they are reading all the appropriate responses for the disasters.”
“Our declared Master of Disaster was able to answer all the Knowledge Card questions, so relating it to a real-life scenario, one has to be knowledgeable so that you can have a higher chance of survival.”
“We have to note that in real-case scenarios when there’s someone who is in need, we help and we don’t expect anything in return, unlike in the game [where] there are hero tokens.”