Our Approach

We believe every child has the right to play and to laugh.

We support the wellbeing of children by creating specific opportunities for joyful, positive connections and play. We do this by sharing our joyful performances and activities.

Our goal isn’t just to provide one-off performances. We want to make sure children can continue to play long after we have left. 

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Community Focused

We put children’s needs at the heart of everything we do. This can be when we work on a small, gentle scale with 23 children stuck in the Transit Zones of Hungary.

It can also be on a whole community level like when we reached thousands of children and their families after Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.

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man dressed up as a clown playing with children

Over a million Rohingya people fled persecution from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh. Half are children who now live in refugee camps. We worked with a small group to develop games and songs that we could share with thousands of other children living across the refugee camps.

A group of people from Syria contacted Clowns Without Borders UK from the Za’aatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. We are supporting them to create clown shows for their communities. 

Children must see someone who looks like them on stage. It is empowering and comforting. After Cyclone Idia hit Mozambique we teamed up with local artists to make our performance as relevant as possible.

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Our Partnerships

We work in areas where we can have the biggest impact. We do this by working in partnership with other charities that share our values. This means we can assess where there is the most unmet need and bring more joy to the most number of children.

Each partnership is different and depends on the needs of the communities we serve. What remains the same is that children’s wellbeing is at the heart of every decision we make.

Our partnerships include UNICEF, UNHCR, Oxfam, Plan International and Save the Children.

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Sustainability and
Capacity Building

Laughter and play needs to be a regular part of every child’s life. To help achieve this we support local staff and volunteers to share laughter and play, too.

Our Train-the-Trainer programmes focus on long-term impact and joyful ways of working with children.

Our programmes include:

Girls' Rights

Many women and girls around the world do not have basic Human Rights. These include the right to live free from violence and discrimination, to go to school or to vote. In Humanitarian Disasters, women are more vulnerable to violence and exclusion.

Clowns Without Borders UK uses creative approaches to reach out to girls in disasters. We share playful techniques to strengthen self-esteem, wellbeing, agency and inclusion.

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Water, Sanitation
and Hygiene

One of the most challenging consequences of disaster is a lack of hygiene systems. This can lead to outbreaks of serious diseases, especially in overcrowded camps.

We train staff who share key hygiene messages with children. We work together to transform technical information into age-appropriate games and songs. This way we can keep children safe, whilst also making them laugh. It’s a win-win approach.

Emotional Wellbeing of Children in Disaster

The frequency and intensity of disasters are increasing around the world. Children are amongst the most at risk of experiencing the negative effects. In Humanitarian Crisis, children can experience “toxic stress”. This is a condition caused by extreme difficulty and a lack of supportive relationships and positive activities.

Simply put, children need more than ever a chance to laugh and play. Creating opportunities to do this brings comfort and helps children have normal childhood experiences.

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