The Sunday Mail
Clowns Without Borders (CWB) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) have partnered to bring laughter and happiness to refugee children at Tongogara Refugee Camp and Chipinge District communities ahead of commemorations to mark World Refugee Day, which will be held on June 20.
Clowns Without Borders was created in 1993 to deal with the suffering caused by war in the former Yugoslavia, especially for children.
They are professional clowns or circus artists who volunteer their time and talent.
Between April 28 and May 6, three artists from the Spanish brand of CWB performed daily shows in the refugee camp and primary schools in various Chipinge District towns.
Said UNHCR representative in Zimbabwe Mrs Abdoulaye Barry: “The importance of bringing happiness amongst children and forgetting the tensions in their lives for even a short time is crucial for building their resilience. Bringing a smile to a kid is a wonderful gift.”
The shows are usually packed with music, magic tricks, acrobatics, dance, slapstick comedy and plenty of opportunities for the children to get involved in the fun.
One of the three clowns that came to Zimbabwe, Mr Donald Lehn, was surprised by how sociable the children at Tongogara Refugee Camp were.
“There are places you go where children don’t know how to react,” he said.