In an exclusive interview with VOA, Mr. Derrick Semler, a professional guitarist and singer-songwriter residing in Brooklin, Maine, says he has established the so called "Music Laos Project" to help disabled Laotians not long after he returned home from a trip to Laos last year.
He says he was encouraged to bring live music and humanitarian aid to Laos by Hisayo Morikawa, a Japanese lady who has worked at the National Rehabilitation Center in Vientiane for two years.
According to Mr. Semler, the objective of his project is to provide music therapy and musical instruction to the center's clients who suffer from a variety of disabilities - blindness, leprosy survivors, polio victims, landmine and unexploded ordnance amputees, and traffic accident injuries.
Mr. Semler says one of his immediate goals is to raise fund in order to complete the work on new classrooms and a dormitory building for the blind at the National Rehabilitation Center. He says his project has been sanctioned by the Laos Ministry of Public Health and he plans to go back to Laos to oversee his project in November next month.