Child-rights organisation Clowns Without Borders UK (CWB) is live- streaming clown workshops into living rooms to help promote laughter and play. Amidst the solemnity of the current coronavirus outbreak, Their work is usually reserved for refugee camps, wants to help remind us all of the healing power of laughter and how it can be used to provide respite and relief at challenging times.
Sharing live, weekly workshops and daily clown activities, the organisation will encourage children – and hopefully their parents – to embrace their inner clowns.
CWB UK has provided psychosocial support for children affected by humanitarian disasters since 2014. Since then, the organisations have collaborated in more than 13 countries around the world with performances and workshops in numerous humanitarian contexts. These include sharing laughter with children and their communities after Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquakes in Nepal and across refugee camps in Europe and Bangladesh.
Annabel Morgan has worked with Clowns Without Borders as an artist for the last six years. She says, “We know that opportunities for play are diminished at the moment because children have to stay indoors and are unable to spend time with their friends. Our job is to share laughter with children and families across the world who need emotional respite. Laughter has a role to play in this crisis, too. Our clown workshops or Clown Camp are a gentle reminder that children need to play.”
“It’s important children feel a sense of normalcy at this time. We are in a unique position to provide such opportunities and support the well-being of children at this time,” said Director Samantha Holdsworth. “Humour can help us process and accept what is happening. Without it, our current situation could become overwhelming. That’s the opposite of what children need right now. They need play and laughter to help them express themselves and interpret what is happening.”
Clown Camp is a series of daily activities shared to support its weekly clown workshops, encouraging children to create their own clown shows as a catalyst for spreading laughter and joy. The charity is requesting donations from everyone who takes part, with all money raised helping them to bring that same joy and laughter to children in refugee camps across Europe and Rohingya children in Bangladesh.