UK based not-for-profit organisation Clowns Without Borders UK has completed one of its busiest month in organisation’s history, visiting three destinations around the globe to provide psychosocial first aid and training to thousands of children in crisis.
Beginning April 2018 in Greece, venturing to Bangladesh mid-month and concluding with a week in Jordan, the Clowns Without Borders UK (CWBUK) team of volunteers worked tirelessly to provide their services worldwide over the past weeks.
The charity works to support children and communities around the world in times of crisis – from temporary refugee camps through to long-term, self-built city settlements.
Completing tours in refugee camps to provide shows to communities in Greece and in Bangladesh, the clowns performed to audiences in their thousands – described as “doctors of the soul” by one audience member.
In Jordan, the teams travelled five hours per day to the Za’atari refugee camp just miles from the Syrian border, to provide in-depth training in clowning and entertainment to members camp, with the aim of providing long-term relief in CWBUK’s absence.
Cathy Hayward, managing director at Magenta Associates and CWBUK trustee member detailed her experience: “Having seen first-hand, and talked to children in Za’atari about what they have witnessed – this type of psycho-social first aid is key to their recovery.”
Volunteering her time to assist long-term returning clown Ivan Smith and first-time-performer Tanushka Gill, the team provided training for the community and already have plans to return.
Returning to the Rohingya community in Bangladesh for the second time in six months, Amy Gwilliam, who was part of the team visiting one of the largest refugee camps in the world stated: “Clowns have a special license: a red nose means we are timeless, ageless, borderless, our home is the sound of laughter we can make, and we are working hard to spread and share our magic toolkit.”
On the 8th May, the Brighton Spiegeltent hosted a fundraising evening as part of the Fringe Festival, helping to celebrate the charities’ fantastic work in recent months, display cabaret, comedy and clowning and raise further funds to enable more projects in 2018. Raising well over £1,000, the event was a roaring success.
For more information on Clowns Without Borders UK, contact Magenta Associates on 01273 934295.