Marking the one-year anniversary when coronavirus seemed to change the whole world, PFCF would like to take a moment and recognize the outstanding leadership PFCF program staff internationally continuously display to create positive change in their communities. From distributing food and health supplies to those most in need, to taking initiative and leading unprecedented digital programming to engage youth through music and the arts during these uncertain times, our staff and teachers across programs have displayed true community leadership. And while most of the world pressed pause just about one year ago, PFCF took this unique opportunity to engage our leadership in new ways to take stock of local needs, lay groundwork for more effective and engaging music programming, and reinforce the connection among the global PFCF family.
Since nearly April of 2020, PFCF has led bi-weekly zoom and skype meetings to foster collaboration among international program staff so as to share experiences, exchange best practices, and learn from not only the challenges unique to each program location, but the innovative solutions each program employs to meet those challenges. PFCF’s strength lies in our diversity, and these regular meetings have been meant to promote diverse perspectives, while also solidifying cross-program relationships for sustained future collaborations among programs. We’ve already seen results of this approach as our programs in Ghana, Mexico, and Nepal are currently undertaking a trans-national digital project to connect vocal students in writing a song together as part of a virtual choir. A collaboration such as this has never been implemented before within these PFCF communities.
Another fruit born of these regular meetings has been the formalization of a broad PFCF push to identify goals in the short, mid and long term at each of our 15 program locations across Africa, Asia, and South America. While individual programs had previously been identifying and pursuing their own goals, there had never before been a uniform PFCF approach which not only gave each program space to go through a goal setting process, but did so along with leaders from other programs so as to share experience, expertise, and even resources when identifying these goals. This has been a major turning point for us, and has established a clear vision for what we hope to achieve in the next five years at each program location, within each world region, and collectively across the globe. Such goals include broadening access to girls’ participation, implementing digital learning initiatives, and expanding PFCF programming into more elementary and secondary schools. Programs who have years of experience realizing these same goals are now well suited to share their experiences and lessons learned with those programs who are now identifying specific measures they want to undertake to meet these goals. This in turn leads to more targeted and effective programming, strengthened leadership, and positive change in PFCF communities around the world.