Emergency Smile Jordan

January 2015 

At the moment an international RED NOSES clown team is working with Syrian refugee children, who live in the major camps in Jordan.

Adding to the usual difficulties of life in refugee camps, this winter´s hardship further complicated the lives of refugees in the Middle East.

This was the scenario that received our RNI Emergency Smile team, but that also made this visit more necessary than ever.

During this Emergency Smile visit, RED NOSES will visit an approximate total of 6.000 Syrian children in the three major refugee camps in Jordan – Zaatari, Azraq and Emirati Jordanian Camp.

Many of the performances were concluded with a “ceremony” to distribute foam noses among the children, much to their laughter and joy.

Zaatari was one of the camps were our clowndoctors did experience theatre. The goal is to have these children develop a performance together with the clowns in order for them to experience a success, a moment of joy and happiness. Approximately 360 youngsters will benefit and participate in the experience theater performances during our current stay in Jordan.

This was the first time that we paid a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp, which opened in 2012 and has grown exponentially ever since.

Everyone in the camps eagerly await the clowns! :O) They know their names, they run after the clowndoctors as soon as they spot them and long for their next trip to the camp. Sometimes the clowns even need to disguise themselves to be able to leave the camps. It is truly touching and overwhelming to see how many children and families are desperate for someone to bring joy and laughter into their lives.


Besides the visits to the camps, our clowns also made an appearance to the King Hussein Cancer Centre, performed at Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Amman and in host communities all around Jordan, including Karak and Aqaba.

In Aqaba they also visited the SOS Children´s Village and then held a performance for 300 children and mothers in the theatre in Ma´an.

Host community in Aqaba

In addition, the Emergency Smile team held a humour workshop for approximately 30 staff members of Save the Children. The goal was to share how to use humour as a tool in their daily work in helping refugees.

The Emergency Smile team also performed at a UN Population Fund women´s center in the Zaatari camp (IYCF programme: infant and young child feeding programme). Among others, the aims are to use humour to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. The presence of the clowndoctors in the women´s center is important to transmit important messages in a cultural environment which is sensitive to women´s topics and in a physical environment where very often the hygienic conditions are not met.

Overall, the feedback has been more than tremendously positive and the impact of our visits in Jordan is amazing. This feedback comes daily, not only from those we are able to give some joy and laughter, but also from the organisations with whom we work.

The interest in our work and our professionalism has been immense.

We are very proud with the outcome, but most importantly we are proud and privileged to be able to bring joy, laughter and some relief to the suffering populations in this region, who are in desperate need of hope and a regained feeling of happiness.



We want to thank Save the Children Jordan for their support and fantastic cooperation. We look forward to further collaboration to bring more laughter and hope
                                                 to refugee children.



  • Karola Sakotnik (project leader and clown), RED NOSES International (Austria)
  • Tarek Zboun (clown), RED NOSES Palestine
  • Izzat Al Natsheh (clown), RED NOSES Palestine
  • Daoud Toutah (clown), RED NOSES Palestine
  • Timea Till (clown), CERVENÝ NOS Slovakia
  • Irena Feithová (clown), ZDRAVOTNÍ KLAUN Czech Republic
  • Maren Rahmann (clown), ROTE NASEN Austria
  • Paul Kustermann (clown), ROTE NASEN Germany




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