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.”
Sep 14, 2020Staff Reporter Abul kalam of Camp 16 told to our correspondence that Rohingya Community Members actually want to go back to Myanmar, not to a island which is in the middle of bay of Bengal. It is really very dangerous during monsoon season. Recently, some leaders from different camps went to see the location whether […]
Sep 01, 2020
Aug 21, 2020