“Clowns Without Borders” to save children’s war-stricken psyches
“Arena CS” organizes a unique tour for UNICEF through cities of South and East of Ukraine
In late August and early September a group of circus performers “Clowns without Borders” supported by the Ukrainian office of UNICEF organized a tour for Ukrainian children from war-displaced families, those who suffered during the war and other vulnerable groups. The tour started in Kharkiv and included such cities as Svyatohirsk, Kramatorsk, Slovyansk, Sieverodonetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia. The final event is scheduled in Kyiv.
Clowns from Sweden and Finland entertained the children who are often traumatized by the events they have unwillingly witnessed. Moreover, this group has a great experience. It has been created to specially target children in the countries where there were wars and various emergencies. Since the 1990s the Scandinavians have traveled the countries from Georgia to Jordan, from Syria to Kenya and Bangladesh.
In addition to performances, the group also carries out workshops on circus art almost in all the cities, which is also very entertaining for the young members of the public. The clowns say they are also very happy and even promise to come back because the Ukrainian public is very lively and energetic.
“Clowns without Borders” are professional circus performers and have no psychologists in their team. But the decades of working with children in difficult situations gave them the experience that allows the audience to feel fine. The clowns do some acrobatics but the main focus is on entertaining rather than surprising. “The more psychologically traumatized the child is, the simpler numbers he or she needs, without complications, so that it can be easily digester”, Olf says, “Clowns without Borders” performer.
The efficient organization of the tour, clear logistics and successful on-site setup has been provided by the “Arena CS” managers. Our work has received top marks from both the kids and the philanthropic clowns.