What a whirlwind of a glorious trip this has been. Departed Los Angeles mid-February and just returned from an intense and extensive journey to Thailand, Nepal and Australia.

It continues to be a deep privilege to visit and encourage students and teachers in PFCF's six music programs as well as help document the PFC Band for a series of epic performances at Australia's Byron Bay Bluesfest.

In Thailand we spent time with Gigi and her fabulous team of compassionate teachers at the Khlong Toey music Institute. This vibrant program is faithfully serving a challenged community that for some, desperately need hope. All of us here at PFCF are so proud of her and how far this marvelous program has developed. We look forward to introducing you to a number a bright new students.

The Musica Music Institute and Mitrata Nepal, both located in Kathmandu, are two other fine examples of successful music programs benefiting the community. Brand-new iPad were delivered with the intention of teaching the students how to share their personal story with the world. We soon discovered simply allowing the students to record their own performances and review them, sped up their learning. They were eager to improve themselves based on what they had just seen and heard on the video. Plans are developing to expand their social action team initiative where they go in the community and benefit those in need.

In Kathmandu we were joined by Huck Rorick of groundwork.org. Together we traveled to remote Udayapur district to visit our music program and school in Tintale village. We are actively looking into the potential of building a Playing For Change campus in the region that would not only focus on music performance and arts education, but also provide a medical clinic, vocational training and a headquarters for the vital work of the Mother's Society.

Members of Groundwork Institute in Tintale

Future Udayapur Music program, Tintale

At the Katari branch of the Udayapur music program we witnessed a very special presentation from the students that was clearly the strongest performance in their six-year history. With girls on one side of the room and boys on the other, there was a call and response within their beautiful folk songs that was downright powerful and beguiling.

From Nepal we returned to the PFCF Khlong Toey music program in Bangkok to further encourage the students and check on their progress. It's there we made Pond, a very special young man whose inspiring story of rising through adversity through the power of music, is certain to touch your heart.

We immediately went into production to produce a short film of our current journey entitled MUSIC ALWAYS UNITES US which was then presented at a big PFCF fundraiser in Sydney, Australia. It's an inspiring story highlighting our Nepali music programs and how they're affecting disadvantaged youth, the family and community in profound ways. Stay tuned for his upcoming release.

The PFC Band gave five outstanding performances in one week add Byron Bay Bluesfest and it was my pleasure to document this auspicious occasion. This is where the wonderous music world of Playing For Change synchronizes beautifully with the foundation's work to bring music education to 14 music programs and 11 countries.

The PFC Band at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Autralia

Standby for news. Over the next few weeks and months stay tuned for additional in-depth reports related to our recent effort. There is so much inspiration to share.

All of these activities are simply not possible without your support. On behalf of each and every student, teacher and volunteer who offer their heart and soul every day to bring music education to deserving children, we thank you. Together, we are encouraging a new generation of peacemakers.

William Aura
PFCF Asian Music Programs Director