Whose bright idea was it to send clowns to refugee camps?   KIDS, of course!

Yes, children really did invent Clowns Without Borders.


Tortell Poltrona, founder of the Clowns Without Borders movement

This is our story…


In 1993, in a school in Catalan, children were writing to young refugees children from the Yugoslav Wars (1991-1995) who told them they  missed having fun, laughing and playing.  So…the Spanish kids set about raising funds to pay for the local clown, Tortell Poltrona, and his troupe to go to Croatia. Eventually, they raised enough money for the clowns to go on this amazing journey.

The performance in the refugee camp was a huge success and proved to Poltrona that there was a real need to create opportunities for refugee children to come together simply to laugh and play…the rest, as they say, is history.

Today there are Clowns Without Borders chapters in 13 different countries. In 2015 alone we performed 1,00o shows in 43 countries reaching 410,000 children and communities. 365 professional artists, clowns, acrobats and musicians volunteered their skills for free.  That’s a clown for every day of the year.