Sector: Archive Art and social Country: Greece Project status: Archive Partner: RED NOSES Clowndoctors International


The “Emergency Smile Mission” RED NOSES Clowndoctors International (RNI) conducted on Lesbos, in Greece, took place between November 14 – December 3rd, 2018, in the Moria Camp (Olive Grove area, in Médecins Sans Frontières’ Medical Facility) and Kara Tepe Camp in collaboration with Refugee 4 Refugees, as well as in the Gekko Kids School (Mytilene), a school exclusively intended to unaccompanied minor refugees. This mission, part of the Emergency Smile Program, responded to the dire humanitarian crisis affecting Greece, a country deeply tested by the massive arrival of migrants and refugees, and on the top of it, it replies to the lack of decent human living conditions in the Moria Camp. This latter, actually, suffers from structural overcrowding (there are 9’000 people in a camp for 3’000 people) and, plunged into chaos, every day witnesses fightings, riots, sexual harassment episodes and where the thousands of people stuck there (out of which 3’000 are minors) are traumatized and experiencing psychosis and other grave mental illnesses.

The project aimed to:

  • Give children the possibility to express their feelings in a playful manner, to help them reconnect to positive feelings and regain resilience and hope;
  • Transfer the Skills of Healthcare Clowning to the local Staff members in order to increase their psychosocial wellbeing and help them reduce the stress they experience in their everyday professional lives.


  • 1’330 minors, migrants and refugees, and their families located at the Moria and Kara Tepe Camps, as well as enrolled in the Gekko Kids School;
  • 13 humanitarian aid workers and volunteers of Refugee4Refugees, attending the Humour Workshop;
  • 740 adults (families, staff and volunteers of MSF and Refugee4Refugees).


Between November 14th and December 3rd, 2018, the Emergency Smile Mission in Lesbos, also with Alta Mane support, foresaw the following activities:

  • Pre-Mission Training in Vienna (November 14-16, 2018) to get the 3 RNI’s clown-doctors and the Head of Mission prepared for the mission on the field;
  • Mission in Moria Camp/Olive Grove, Kara Tepe Camp and Gekko Kids School (November 17-December 2nd, 2018) during which the following clowning activities took place: shows and musical parades; artistic interventions led by the clown-doctors and one Mini Circus-Smile at the Gekko Kids School. In parallel, one Humour Workshop was organized for the benefit of 13 humanitarian aid workers and volunteers of Refugee4Refugees;
  • Debriefing in Vienna (December 3rd, 2018) during which the clown-doctors and the Head of Mission processed and reflected on lived experiences, discussed about critical issues detected during the mission, assessed the artistic interventions and shared the Lessons Learnt with the Emergency Smile Project Leader.


RED NOSES Clowndoctors International (RNI) is a Non-Profit Charity Organization, functioning as the umbrella organization for one of the largest clown doctor groups in the world. With over 20 years of experience, RNI brings together artistic and scientific expertise in the interface between the performing arts, healthcare and development. For RNI health and culture go hand-in-hand in a partnership that recognizes the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. RNI is active in 790 medical and social facilities in 10 countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Palestine and Lithuania.


Red Noses Clowndoctors International: Emergency Smile mission to Greece’s largest refugee camp

The National: Vaccinated with laughter: How clowns are bringing smiles and more to Lesbos refugees


Alta Mane also supported RNI in 2018 awarding 17 Participation Scholarships Healthcare Clowning International Meeting 2018. Please click on the following link for further information. Additionally, the Foundation already supported an “Emergency Smile Mission” in 2018 to the eastern part of Ukraine, in the cities of Kiev, Bila Tserkva and Pryluki. Please click on the following link for further information.