Clowns Without Borders UK

Türkiye

A child smiles at the performance of humanitarian clowns in a refugee camp in Türkiye, surrounded by other children
Türkiye hosts 3.6 million refugees – with over 1.7 million Syrian children – who have fled due to more than a decade of conflict in Syria.
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In 2023, two earthquakes devasted communities near the Turkish-Syrian border in the Gaziantep and Hatay region. As a result, thousands of children and their families had to flee their homes. Many have witnessed friends and families disappear. For some, the trauma is too much to bear and they choose to stay with their children out in the open in fear of further aftershocks

What did Clowns do?

Due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, we’ve been delivering activities in Türkiye since 2016, training local artists who are setting up their own humanitarian clown organisations. Focusing on a local model, we trained 10 artists to share performances with refugees in Istanbul and on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Impact

During 2023, our team of local artists delivered 128 performances across earthquake regions and to local communities of refugees in Istanbul, reaching 11,226 children and training 25 NGO workers working on the border to include more play for children in their child-friendly spaces.

Feedback

“It is so powerful to work in my hometown. I know where all the pain is coming from. I understand my culture and we can do things that someone from outside could not do.”

Mufit – Türkiye, 2024

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