The three missions to Greece, two on the Lesbos and Samos Islands, and the other one in Mainland Greece (Central Macedonia and Attica Regions), 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. In Samos, RNI, invited by Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), also helped to assist with the massive vaccination campaign for the benefit of more than 600 minors, migrants and refugees, located in the Vathy Camp. The presence of the clown-doctors helped to reduce the psychological stress, fears and anxiety of the children, bringing them a sense of lightness, playfulness and optimism;
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.
Final beneficiaries of the 3 missions
The three missions to Greece, also with Alta Mane support, foresaw the following activities:
- 3 Pre-Mission Training in Vienna to get 11 RNI’s clown-doctors and 3 Head of Mission prepared for the 3 missions on the field;
- Various artistic and Healthcare Clowning interventions, such as clown shows, parades and Circus Smile shows;
- 5 Humour Workshops for the benefit of various humanitarian aid workers and volunteers of the organizations operating in the shelter camps;
- 3 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.
In 2020, RNI foresees to strengthen its presence in migratory contexts in Europe, conducting a total of 5 missions in collaboration with important humanitarian organizations, such as IOM, Red Cross and STC, and consolidate the current Emergency Smile Methodology by adapting it to the measurement of the impact of Healthcare Clowning activities in migratory contexts, with a priority focus on UASC. The project for 2020 foresees two missions, the first in Greece and the second in the Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia).
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 supports RNI since 2018.