Belarus: Psychosocial support for children with cancer and youth with mental illnesses

As previous missions together with the RED CROSS have been very successful, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) asked us again to support them in Belarus in their work with hospitalized children, children with cancer and children and youth suffering from mental illness.  

 

They want our special contribution and have chosen Belarus because the IFRC believes that RED NOSES can have a strong impact on the target groups in this country.

Belarus, a former Soviet republic, was heavily affected by the fall-out from the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl in neighboring Ukraine in 1986 and still shows severe long term effects.

Severe environmental contamination, poor living conditions, widespread poverty and alcohol abuse have an overall negative impact on the health of the general population. 

These are more than enough reasons to support the local RED CROSS in bringing psychosocial support through humour to their beneficiaries.

Our international RED NOSES team of four artists started their pre-mission training in Vienna, Austria. They got familiar with the Belarussian culture and prepared a show which will be used to present the clowns and the work of healthcare clowns in general.

The joyful 10 minutes play is an icebreaker which makes it easier to connect with children, caretakers and hospital staff and to gain their trust for the following Caravan Orchestra sessions and other playful activities with the clowns. 

In addition our team prepared special humour workshops which will be given to local staff as well, because we know that humour is a powerful trigger to decrease stress and anxiety in daily routines. 

Our task is to support the RED CROSS in the capital in Minsk as well as in the cities Vitebsk and Gomell.  We will especially work in the Children's Home in Vitebsk, Gomel Regional Children's Clinical Hospital, and visiting other social institutions, where children, who were removed from their families are placed as well as children in a difficult psychological situation.

The mission will take place between 9th june and 1st of July.

Four professional RED NOSES artists from different countries make up this Emergency Smile clown team. They are: Tanja Rainalter (Austria), Tina Janezic (Slovenia),  Andrea Gerle (Hungary), Marko Kalc (Croatia).

In addition two clowns from the Danish hospital clown organisation, Danske Hospitalsklovne, joined our mission to gain experience and evaluate further joint activities.

The work RED CROSS is doing in Belarus is incredible and we are looking forward to cooperating with them soon.

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