The two missions to Greece, one on the Lesbos and Samos Islands, and the other one in Mainland Greece (Central Macedonia and Attica Regions), are part of the innovative Healthcare Clowning program, the “Emergency Smile”, led by RED NOSES Clowndoctors International (RNI) in humanitarian emergency and post-conflict contexts. As a complement to the humanitarian and medical programs on the field, the Emergency Smile aims to provide psychosocial support to people in need, and more precisely to children, who are victims of traumatic events. Specifically, both missions were intended to respond in a targeted way to the dire migration crisis affecting Greece, a country deeply tested by the tightening of the European migration policies, where thousands of migrants and refugees are “stuck” in shelter reception centers, which don’t ensure the respect of humanitarian standards applicable to emergency situations. 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 and volunteers of humanitarian organizations operating on the field, in order to increase their psychosocial wellbeing and help them reduce the stress they experience in their everyday professional lives.
Lesbos and Samos Islands: May 20-June 11,2019
- 1’165 minors, migrants and refugees, out of which 75 (ages 12-18) unaccompanied, and their families located at the Moria, Kara Tepe and Olive Grove Camps (Lesbos) and at the Samos Hotspot (Samos);
- 45 local Staff of Moria Camp and volunteers of Refugee4Refugees, Samos Volunteers and Still I Rise.
Mainland Greece (Central Macedonia and Attica Regions): July 1-29, 2019
- 1’063 minors, migrants and refugees, out of whom 460 UASC, and their families located at the several Shelter Reception Centers;
- 24 humanitarian aid workers of IOM Greece.
Both missions to Greece, also with Alta Mane support, foresaw the following activities:
- 2 Pre-Mission Training in Vienna to get the 4 RNI’s clown-doctors and 1 Head of Mission prepared for the missions on the field;
- Missions on the field (26 days each): during which the following artistic and clowning activities took place: 15 clown shows, 21 parades, as well as 30 Circus Smile Performances intended to migrant and refugee minors and UASC. In parallel, 4 Humour Workshops took place for the benefit of the humanitarian aid workers of the organizations operating in the shelter camps;
- 2 Debriefing in Vienna during which the clown-doctors 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;
- Monitoring & Evaluation Process to measure the impact, efficacy, sustainability and replicability of the Program.
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. 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.
Alta Mane already collaborated with RNI in 2018-2019 awarding the Participation Scholarships Healthcare Clowning International Meeting 2018 (Please click on the following link for further information) as well as supporting three “Emergency Smile Missions”: in 2018, the first in Eastern part of Ukraine; in 2019 the second one to Lesbos (Moira Camp/Olive Grove and Kara Tepe Camp) and the third on Samos Island.