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Project Eid

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Date: 19th Auguts, 2015

This was Clowns Without Borders  first ever UK intervention,  and what a wonderful day of celebration with young refugees in London it was!   We were asked by multiple refugee agencies in London to bring their special brand of magic to  the Eid Celebrations in Croydon.  Attended by over seventy young refugees from countires as diverse as Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria, we kicked off the day with fun, inclusive workshop activities and then set up our own very special dressing up stand.   This went down so well (see above!)  we’ve been asked back next year!   We’re very proud to be working in the UK.

Project Nepal

Dates: 29th August – 8th September, 2015

Help us bring a laughter and joy to children who have been rescued from human trafficking and sex work in Nepal.

In early September, we will spend ten days bringing laughter and lightness to children who have been rescued from a life of violence, abuse and psychological pain, many of whom are still rejected or ostracised from their communities. Clowns Without Borders have been asked by Children’s Homes and aid agencies in the Kathmandu and Pokhara areas to help bring back some of the silliness and innocence of childhood to these children by sharing our performances. Of course, we said yes and whilst we know their road to recovery will be a long one, we also know that our visits enable “children to just be children” if only for an hour or two.

Through all of our work, Clown Without Borders aims to bring playful and joyful experiences to children living in some of the most challenging and hostile circumstances in the world. Helping to create positive childhood memories that live long in the imagination can be extremely difficult in certain situations and that’s why Clowns Without Borders have been asked to visit these remarkable children in Nepal.

In order to fully fund this tour we need to raise £1,800 to cover the cost of flights, transport, food and accommodation for two clowns. The artists working on this project do not get paid; they donate their time and expertise for free. Any donation, no matter what size, makes a huge difference to us. Follow this link to donate now and THANK YOU:

www.clownswithoutborders.org.uk

Hand In Hand Project – Kenya June 2014

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Date:  June 2014

Partners: Hand in Hand East Africa, Clowns Without Borders Sweden and South Africa

In Kenya  50 % of the population live below the poverty line.  In rural areas especially, many women have little income, face discrimination and lead lives with limited choices.   Despite these adversities mothers have been coming together to learn, train and satart up their own enterprises with help with Hand in Hand East Africa (HiH EA). Clowns Without Borders were asked to created a performance to share the successes of these remarkable women within their communities and inspire more women to sign up for free training relating to financial empowerment.

The tour was a huge success, we delivered twenty performances that reached over 7,500 women, children and community members and we arbel to recruit more ‘hard to reach’ young mothers onto their programme.

Check out the action here: Clowns Without Borders in Kenya

 

 

Project Happiness – Zimbabwe 2013

With your help, in September 2013 , we worked with Local Zimbabwean arts organisation, CHIPOWA and Clowns Without Borders, South Africa to develop a children’s performance that shared a positive message of tolerance and change.  We had hoped to reach 5,000 instead we managed to make contact with over 13,500 children.  Thank you to all that helped us achieved this amazing feat!

Why Was This Tour Important?

In 2012, UNICEF reported the rights of women and children were at a critical level due to extreme levels of violence.   Many children continue to live in tense and unpredictable political and social circumstances, where human rights are violated on a daily basis.  The worst effected are the poor and those living close to urban centres.

CWB_Zimbabwe_Sept_2013
What Did We Do?
Over four days we had a crash course in clowning and created a brilliant children’s show with our new team; two clowns from South Africa, one form the UK and two brilliant performers from Chipowa who were totally new to clowning.  After a lot of dedication, sweat and laughter we created a wonderful performance that we performed 15 times for schools and communities.

Non-violent conflict resolution
To create a performance addressing the Rights of Children and non-violent conflict resolution.

Share with 13,500 children
To share this with 5,ooo vulnerable young people and adults in marginalised communities around Harare.

To create moments of joy
To create moments of laughter, play and joy to some of the most disadvantaged children in Zimbabwe.

Development opportunities for Chipowa artists
Provide professional development opportunities to local Zimbabwe artists who will to share these skills with other members of their organisation and other NGOs in Zimbabwe.

Raise the conditions encountered in Harare
Raise the awareness domestically and internationally about conditions encountered in Harare.

Strengthen networks to support further work
Strengthen networks with Clowns Without Borders, South Africa and CHIPAWO in order to support further work.

Creativity, play, humour, joy, peace, compassion and loving
Maintain a spirit of creativity, play, humour, joy, peace, compassion, and loving kindness in all our endeavours.

Clowns Without Borders - Project Philippines Feb 2014

Project Philippines – February 2014

Plan International and Clowns Without Borders Project to Eastern Samar and Leyte for children and young people affected by Typhoon Haiyan 30th January – 7th February 2014

 

Typhoon Haiyan, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, which devastated portions of the Philippines. It was an unprecedented disaster affecting 11 million people.

Clowns Without Borders were invited by Plan International to create performances for children. Like us, they believe it is extremely important for to find ways for children to have fun and relax even in the most challenging of circumstances.   Our performances were created to focus attention away for the disaster onto something positive and playful enabling the children to be children again.

We also developed and delivered clown performances for communities and two, three-day workshops for 90 young people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Samar and Leyte. Our aims was to develop a safe, cathartic and playful space for teenagers who were worst affected by the typhoon to re-build their confidence, share their experiences, build relationships with each other and most importantly, to laugh.

Our methodology is always to focus on the needs of the children and to adapt clown exercises that allow participants to play, share and talk together. Throughout each three-day process we consulted the students to ensure we were targeting our work appropriately and effectively. The result were overwhelming, for example, Anna-Mai’s lost everything including their family home to Typhoon Haiyan. After the workshop she told us:

 

“I have learnt and laughed. It felt like I would not laugh for a very long time after what happened but I did and now I feel like I am back.”

 

Dr. Unni Krishnan, Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response from Plan, believes our work to be a “game-changer” and advocates, “Children affected by the typhoon have gone through a traumatic experience. This innovative approach, which blends fun with psychological and humanitarian support, can reach children and help them heal faster.”

Lotte Claessens, Child Protection in Emergencies Adviser from Plan International in the Philippines, also said:

In a disaster like this, it is normal for children to be distressed. Some children have nightmares or trouble sleeping, or they become withdrawn, fearful or sometimes aggressive – all normal reactions to the abnormal, traumatic event they have lived through. Simple strategies can be used to comfort and calm children, such as telling stories and playing simple games.”

You can see from the photographs below two of our participants from the Leyte workshops are sharing CWB activities with young children from their village on 22nd February 2014. This came as a surprise for us and reflects how emotionally connected the students were to the process!

Project Philippines   Project Philippines

The project was more successful than we could ever dream it to be with ninety young people sharing their experiences and working towards rebuilding their confidence in a safe and playful environment.

As ever, the clown performances were brilliantly received by the community and were specifically devised to help During our  share and strengthen social messages identified by Plan in ‘child-friendly’ ways relating to hygiene and safety.

We are also very proud to say the young people continued the work we started by setting the workshops in their own communities.

“This is relieving stress from the typhoon that happened.. so instead of thinking about those things, because of the activities we start to enjoy, we forgot about those bad things.” Darly, workshop participant.

Project Red Nose – Lithuania 2012

Our pilot project in July 2012 was an overwhelming success.

Approached by Lithuanian charity, Baltascena and supported by the British Council, we worked for three weeks along side a  four Lithuanian artists to develop a clown performance we could tour to as many children as possible.

We managed to bring laughter and play to:
• 800 children, elders and carers in
• 17 venues including:
o ‘state-run care establishments’
o tuberculosis centres
o hospitals
o special needs centres
o refugee reception centre
o children living on the fringes of Vilnius in the marginalised Romani community.

We also made one special trip to an ‘elders care unit’; the institution had heard about our project and knew their patients would love to see our work, they were right.

CWB_Lithuania_July_2012

Why Was This Tour Important?

In a survey conducted by Child Poverty Action Group, it placed Lithuania 26th out of 30 European countries in terms of childhood happiness.  Dainius Puras MD., expert in child psychiatry and Chairman of Lithuania’s Human Rights Monitoring Institute suggests this is because:
• The rights and freedom of children in Lithuania is only just been understood
• Large numbers of children are still housed in big residential ‘foster care homes’ resulting in social exclusion and institutionalisation.
• There is little or no support governmental for families and children at risk.
• Tolerance of single parent families and other minority groups remains extremely low.

To see what we actually got up to: