The clowns bringing laughter to refugee camps: ‘Happiness matters like food’
n adorable six-year-old in a pink top reaches up to me, her bright green eyes pleading for a hug. Next to her a slightly older girl, with curly brown hair and laughing dark eyes also reaches up. I lift the first child on to my back and bounce her around for a few moments before gently setting her down again. The games are starting and it is time to get into a circle and pay attention.
I am dressed in a spotty shirt, outsize trousers, stripy socks and a glittery bowler hat. This isn’t my usual working gear, but I am visiting this Greek refugee camp as an undercover clown with The Flying Seagull Project. Hoards of children, some barely older than toddlers, run free around the camp. Their parents have travelled with them from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in the hope of finding a life away from violence and poverty. Now they are stranded in camps in Greece while politicians deliberate on where they can go.
The Flying Seagulls visit this camp every day to provide games, organised play and shows for the children. Ash Perrin, the ringmaster, has seen an improvement in behaviour since they started: “It used to take 15 minutes before you saw their child faces. They came with hard adult faces. Now the minute they see us it’s the vulnerable open child we see. They’re responding well.”
Jan 22, 2020A Myanmar-appointed panel concluded on Monday (Jan 20) that some soldiers likely committed war crimes against its Rohingya Muslim community but the military was not guilty of genocide, findings swiftly condemned by rights groups. The “Independent Commission Of Enquiry (ICOE)” released the results of its probe just ahead of a ruling on Thursday by the […]
Mar 22, 2019
Mar 21, 2019