by William Aura
Don Hai Sok, Thailand
From humble beginnings to a global movement, Playing For Change is transcending borders and transforming lives. But the most remarkable part?
It continues to evolve - bringing together a diverse group of people in meaningful ways.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw PFC's viewership skyrocket worldwide, underlining the timeless appeal of music as a universal language. Despite physical distancing, this surge in connection revealed the depth of our collective longing for unity and shared experience. As PFC's influence grew, so did its ability to reflect back to us the strength of our connectedness.
We now stand at the intersection of Playing For Change and COP28, and face an entirely new opportunity. COP28, the gathering of nations to address climate change isn't just a summit of scientific discussions - it's a call to action that resonates with anyone who cares about the future of our planet.
In my role, I’m privileged to work with Ban Kung Learning Center dance instructor Mai Wilachai and the children of Isaan - a region in northeastern Thailand, where music often serves as a lifeline in the face of adversity. Sponsored by the Asha Foundation for Humanity, BKLC goes beyond traditional Isaan dance, offering a free lunch, introductory English classes, artistic expression, and Muay Thai for self-defense to disadvantaged youth in Ban Kung village.
Many of these young people are unfamiliar with PFC, let alone the intention of COP28 or the consciousness of climate change. Yet they are embarking on an educational journey. Our discussions with the kids about global challenges, music's unifying spirit, and the potential they hold are as inspiring as they are humbling.
The young dance students are brimming with enthusiasm as they diligently rehearse their routine for the upcoming video recording of PFC's latest music video, "Waiting on the World to Change." The effort was more than just an artistic one. It was a profound moment of self-esteem and purpose.
The song reflects on the frustration many people feel in the face of societal issues and the desire for positive change. The lyrics express a longing for a better world. It encourages individuals to take an active role in addressing global issues, such as social justice, climate change, and equality, It reminds us that collective action and personal responsibility are crucial.
We recorded our dance students on location in the tranquil embrace of rice paddies, bamboo huts and beloved temples. Our goal was to create a visual backdrop to inspire a sense of pride and environmental awareness. This collaborative effort exemplifies the essence of Playing For Change, a journey I'm deeply grateful to be part of.
Forever etched in my memory was when we presented the final mastered version of the video to our Isaan Dance Group kids for the very first time. The sheer elation on their faces as they watched themselves on screen, immersed in the powerful message of the song, was nothing short of life-changing.
Seeing themselves in a video of such magnitude was an experience these children could scarcely imagine. They openly expressed a collective sense of pride in representing their culture, an identity often underrepresented like many indigenous groups. Their involvement is a reminder that music connects us in the universal language of hope.
Much like the ripples in a pond when a pebble is dropped, we're witnessing the energy that comes from a source as positive as this. It's a spirit we call Playing For Change, and it's fueled by an intention to benefit and support those making our world a better place for all of us.
COP and Playing For Change: Uniting for a Greener World
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is not just a summit; it's a collective promise to our planet. It's where nations convene to address climate change, set ambitious goals, and work towards a sustainable future. It's a reminder that when we unite, we have the potential to create lasting change and protect the world for future generations.
Help us to be part of the change! Learn more at https://www.cop28.com/
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