November 20, 2015
There’s nothing like a circus show to entertain a crowd. And when your crowd are entirely made up of Syrian refugees who have escaped persecution and are continuing to try and turn their lives around, the pressure is on! Thankfully, the enduring hardship these people suffer is lifted for a short time thanks to the brilliant Clowns Without Borders.
We love a good circus performance – indeed, we have a whole page dedicated to circus acts for events and parties. From acrobats to aerial silk, there is nothing we don’t provide. But when most people think of the circus, they probably think of a clown. A figure who aimlessly walks around the circus big top, only to consistently and hilariously fail to do whatever simple task is expected of him by his ringmaster. They’re great fun and we’re being honest, all too often underbooked!
But no matter, for the wonderful Clowns Without Borders don’t wait for clients to come to them but instead go out to the clients. And when you’re clients aren’t just down the road but in a whole other city, it takes some serious planning. That being said, there’s nothing people cannot do for charity as these clowns show!
Clowns Without Borders started in 1993 when a Barcelona clown by the name of Tortell Poltrona was invited to perform for refugees in Croatia; children at a school in Catalonia had been writing to young refugees from the Yugoslav wars of 1991. The refugees from the Istria Peninsula in Croatia told the children the thing they missed the most was having fun, laughing and playing. As a wonderful gesture, the Spanish kids set about raising funds to pay for their local clown to head out to the country with his troupe.
Upon arriving in Croatia and amassing a huge crowd of more than 700 people during his performances, Tortell realised that in times of crisis, entertainment is a wonderful way to lift a little weight from people’s shoulders. Fast forward 22 years and Clowns Without Borders now has organisations in 12 countries around the world including Clowns Without Borders UK. From Europe to Africa and North America!
Although the recent projects have taken place in Turkey and on the Greek island of Lesvos – areas with a large Syrian refugee population - the charity has also visited India, Kenya and Nepal in the past year and attempt to complete one hundred projects each year. One need only look at the photos to see what a worthwhile cause this great charity is and the power of clowns, humour and entertainment around the world.
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By Henry Fosdike