c/o 14 Gandon House, IFSC, Dublin 1
"No child without a smile" CLOWNS WITHOUT BORDERS offers laughter to relieve the suffering of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and territories in situations of emergency. We bring levity, contemporary clown/circus oriented performances and workshops into communities so that they can celebrate together and forget for a moment the tensions that darken their daily lives. We aim to provide emotional relief to children. Underscoring this objective are four points of focus: 1) to perform for as many children as possible and bring laughter and healing for a brief moment in their lives. 2) to establish connections with local grassroots organizations that are working to alleviate the suffering of communities. 3) to connect local performers to these organisations so that celebrations of laughter can continue on a more frequent basis after the expedition is over. 4) to gather information and assess the situation in the regions we visit in order develop future expeditions to the regions.
In October 2006, the Irish undertook their first misson to Nepal for refugees and orphanages in association with UNHCR. Working primarily with the Bhutanese refugees in Damak, 3 artists performed for over 18,000 children throughout Nepal in 21 performances. This tour was funded by Culture Ireland. In March 2007, A four person Irish party went to Lesotho to lead a misson for Project Njabulo which provides psychosocial support through laughter and humour to children and communities affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty in Southern Africa. There were 31 performances for 8,000 children and 5 workshops. This tour was funded by the artists and was in partnership with Clowns Without Borders South Africa. Also in 2007, 5 artists went to Uganda to work with post civil war refugees and internally displaced people. There were 18 performances for 16,000 spectators and 12 workshops. This was funded by fundraisers undertaken by the artists themselves in partnership with Warchild and UNHCR. In November 2008 4 artists visited Palestine to work with refugees. In co-operation with the Palestinian Circus they undertook 13 performances for 2,000 spectators and 10 workshops. This tour was funded by Culture Ireland.