Laughter for those
who need it most:
children in Ukraine

As the conflict rages on in the Donbass region of Ukraine, more and more children are experiencing harsh conditions each day. They are acutely affected by this conflict due to a variety of economic and political reasons. Most importantly, their caretakers are forced to work abroad and must leave their children behind. 


If a child is lucky, a member of their family may be around to take care of them. Many children do not have this luxury. Instead, many have been orphaned by the armed conflict; or, their parents are traumatized once they return from the front lines and cannot properly take care of them.

Pnikut

Armed with a red nose and a few additional props, our RED NOSES clown team knew they could make a difference in these circumstances, even for a few children. This past autumn, our team collaborated with the H. Stepic CEE Charity to give disadvantaged children in the L’viv region a new spice for life through joyous encounters.

Prepared with tailor-made performances, the RED NOSES team were always able to meet the needs of the children in the individual facilities they visited. Whether traveling to Pnikut to visit socially disadvantaged children or meeting internally displaced children in Vinniky, the team knew they were providing glimpses of hope to their audiences. They were also able to visit children with multiple disabilities in Yablunitsya as well as an experimental craft therapy facility in Kamianets-Podilsky.

Within such a sensitive environment, RED NOSES clowns are perfectly suited to treat the children with respect, to develop their self-esteem, and to encourage their creative spirit.

“It was an easy decision for us, one that came from our hearts. By inviting RED NOSES Clowndoctors International, we knew they would give the children an experience they would always remember," explains Christine Anwander-Hirsch, founder of the H. Stepic CEE Charity.

Pavel Mihalak, a member of the international RED NOSES clown team, shares one of his experiences:

"We met a group of traumatized families in Vinniky. Their children had experienced so much hardship in their lives. After our show, one figure, a former soldier, pulled me aside to ask if I could play with his four-year-old son who was playing alone in a sandbox.

His mother sat quietly beside him and explained that her son had not spoken in years. It became instantly clear to me that all this child needed was an environment where he felt to express his natural playfulness.

What solution is better for a clown to embrace this situation? After a few minutes, his mother was part of our fun game. They did not speak any word to each other, but their smile went from one ear to the other. When we left only a few minutes later, the child’s father was crying tears of joy. He did not have to say thank you, I knew we had made a difference. I was very touched by this gesture."

For another interesting story regarding our visits in Ukraine, check out the H. Stepic CEE Charity story and watch the video below!

 

 

 

Vinniky

Kamianets

We would like to thank the H. Stepic CEE Charity and the European Commission's Creative Europe for their financial support for this mission!

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