Emergency Smile in Greece
Improving living conditions while clowning around

GREECE - May 2016

An innovative cooperation between Red Noses International, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Hellenic Red Cross ensures children, and adults alike, learn the importance of good hygiene amid fun and laughter.

Of the 50,000 people are currently stranded throughout Greece, RNI has been able to reach out to more than a third of these individuals with the support of Hellenic Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Through the Emergency Smile programme, RNI’s utilizes its expertise is in medical  and artistic clowning to bring hope in trouble times.  Each team is trained with the knowledge about the needs of individuals affected by disaster – both man-made and natural disasters.

On this special occasion, the Emergency Smile team assisted the knowledge transfer of various important health related subjects with their humorous interventions. Cleanliness and good hygiene plays a critical role in ensuring a safe environment for the families to await decisions on asylum and EU relocation.

Throughout the month of May, two Emergency Smile teams were deployed. From May 5th until the 20th, Pavel Mihalak (SK - www.cervenynos.sk), Timea Till (SK - www.cervenynos.sk) and Felix Kislich (AT - www.rotenasen.at) journeyed to refugee settlements in Skaramangas, Ritsonas and Pireaus.

They created a touching, but hilarious tale called "Little Trashures" which follows in the footsteps of three siblings who have lost everything and are travelling in search of a new home. “The quality of their programme is exceptional! Poor hygiene and sanitation cause all kinds of problems from diseases that easily spread in close quarters to vermin and snakes overtaking the area. We knew we had to do something so why not try a fun approach,” says David Castellano, IFRC coordinator for water, sanitation and hygiene activities about the impact of the collaborative project.


A second team of capable clowns arrived on May 21st. Tarek Zboun (PS - www.rednoses.ps), Hakan Yavas (TR - www.rotenasen.at) and Gabriela Rajniakova (SK - www.cervenynos.sk) are hard at work to continue the essential work. Their unique approach evolved into a play called “A Lovely Second Home”, a story about a new future in a new country filled with love, clean spaces and wondrous magic. Their work continues until later in June.

Laughter is crucial in these circumstances as it liberates the ability to express positive emotions while reducing aggression and anger. By eliciting these feelings, individuals become more resilient and courageous. The interventions aim to shift the attitude of all involved individuals from mere tolerance to acceptance of a changing society.


Our partners at the IFRC and the Hellenic Red Cross have also shared a story regarding our collaboration together: http://www.ifrc.org/en/news-and-media/news-stories/europe-central-asia/greece/red-cross-doubles-support-in-greece-as-thousands-await-their-fate-72310/

About RED NOSES Clowndoctors International

Active in ten countries, RED NOSES International delivers a broad range of programmes. These programmes focus on a variety of target groups: children in hospitals, people in geriatrics, patients in rehabilitation centers, youth with mental and multiple disabilities, as well as disaster affected people in crisis areas (such as refugees or internally displaced peoples).

The RED NOSES Group is the largest foundation of hospital clown organisations in the world. Collectively in 2015, including its ten partner organisations, 326 clowns brought joy and laughter to over 708,000 people, in approximately 660 medical and social institutions.

For further inquiries:

Zach Kornell - Public Relations
T: +43 699-111 75 081 (37)
E: zach.kornell@rednoses.eu
W: www.rednoses.eu
FB: www.facebook.com/rednosesinternational

Eva Primavesi - Public Relations
T: +43 1 318 03 13 (42)
E: eva.primavesi@rednoses.eu
W: www.rednoses.eu
FB: www.facebook.com/rednosesinternational




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