Clowning around: how one charity kept children smiling through the pandemic

How does a charity, which supports kids in dispute areas internationally, carry out its work when its whole group is locked down at home? This was the challenge that dealt with Clowns Without Borders UK when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. And with the reward money we believed we d do two more visits throughout the year,” Holdsworth explains. Not being able to be there in individual, Clowns Without Borders established and facilitated remote training sessions for local women, who would deliver the sessions. In Clowns Without Borders workshops, guided by laughter, fun and little games, we have the opposite.

A year on from winning the Generosity Awards, Clowns Without Borders UK explains how it used the reward cash to continue its work from afar

Its been a challenging year, however Holdsworth says that Clowns Without Borders is accustomed to coming up with imaginative solutions and theyre extremely grateful for how the reward money has assisted them to continue their work throughout the Covid-19 crisis..

From joining primary school children and the elderly through art, to dealing with single-use plastics, the candidates revealed what compassion looks like in practice. There might just be one winner. In April, the votes were counted and Clowns Without Borders UK claimed their prize..

So they started working on a menstrual health education program, going door-to-door to satisfy ladies either at their doorsteps, or discovering them outside where they gathered. Not being able to exist personally, Clowns Without Borders developed and assisted in remote training sessions for regional females, who would deliver the sessions. The goal was to empower the trainers to utilize laughter, storytelling and games to engage the young women on this sensitive subject..

Determined to help in any way they could, Holdsworth came up with a concept she called Clown in Your Pocket. In cooperation with charity Waves of Hope, and with the aid of a dedicated volunteer, they developed an enjoyable, language finding out programme for kids. “We utilized short gifs and images to establish a play-based training program via WhatsApp.” she says. “And it was going actually well.”.

The charity has delivered remote knowing and storytelling to ladies in Mozambique. Image: Clowns Without Borders UK.

Main image: Diego Ibarra Sanchez.

The Kindness Awards were released last February by skin care brand Simple, in collaboration with Positive News. Six causes were chosen, and readers had the chance to elect the one they felt most deserving of the reward: a ₤ 7,000 donation from Simple..

” We had whatever booked to go in March. And with the prize cash we thought we d do 2 more sees throughout the year,” Holdsworth describes.

Almost a year later, director Samantha Holdsworth fills us in on how they used the cash prize..

How does a charity, which supports children in dispute areas worldwide, carry out its work when its entire group is locked down in your home? When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, this was the challenge that dealt with Clowns Without Borders UK. The charity had just gotten an injection of funds after winning the Kindness Awards so the team needed to be innovative in order to maximize the chance and even more its positive impact.

” Together with a South African artist and 2 artists from Eswatini and Mozambique, we developed this task around using play to construct trust and rapport with young women,” explains Holdsworth..

” Taking threats is sort of in our DNA, its how we run,” she states. “No matter how hard it might be for me, sitting at my computer every day, asking myself, how am I going to do this, its never, ever as hard as its going to be for individuals we work for.”.

Clowns Without Borders UK brings respite for kids living in conflict zones and disaster areas. Image: Clowns Without Borders UK.

” Weve had a presence in Greece given that 2016, both on the mainland and Lesbos,” she states. The Moria refugee camp, a sprawling expanse originally prepared to shelter 3,000 people however hugely overcrowded with as numerous as 13,000, was where they often checked out..

Sussie Mjwara, the Mozambican artist who was included, states the training was very well gotten. In Clowns Without Borders workshops, guided by laughter, fun and little video games, we have the opposite. Far, they have actually reached around 1,000 women and females.

The charity works in refugee camps, conflict zones and catastrophe areas all over the world, spreading out much-needed respite for kids residing in these locations, through laughter and play..

But then disaster struck. In early September, a lethal fire damaged the camp and their job had to be placed on pause. Faced with this brand-new obstacle, Holdsworth put her thinking cap on again..

Clowns Without Borders had begun going to Mozambique in 2019 and so Holdsworth reached out to their partners there to ask how her charity could assist. She learned there was a need for menstrual health education amongst young women. Mostly a taboo subject, Covid-19 was making it much more challenging for women to gain access to information, as people werent going to centers or community centres as much.

During the pandemic, refugee camps have actually been closed to all but important visitors. Image: Diego Ibarra Sanchez.

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