Lesvos, Greece

On October 26, 2015, Clowns Without Borders USA began a performing project on the Greek island of Lesvos, to support the influx of Syrian and other refugees who have been flooding the island to escape the perils of their countries.
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Turkey 2015

During our two week program, two CWB-USA artists collaborated with local Turkish clowns and performing artists to create performances within Syrian refugee communities and their local host communities..

Kenya 2015

At the end of August, CWB-USA visited the Kakuma Refugee Camp of Turkana County, the north west region of Kenya.


Clowns Without Borders (CWB-USA) is a non-profit organization which offers laughter to relieve the suffering of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and other situations of adversity. We partner with individuals and organizations to bring small teams of professional performing artists to share performances and workshops with children and their families in refugee camps, conflict zones, or with communities who have experienced trauma or crisis.


We bring levity, contemporary clown/circus oriented performances and workshops into communities so that community members can celebrate together and forget for a moment the tensions that darken their daily lives. We also seek to raise our society’s awareness of affected populations and to promote a spirit of solidarity.

Tortell Poltrona, the original CWB clown


In July of 1993, a clown from Barcelona, Spain, named Tortell Poltrona, was asked by a group of school children there to help out some friends. These Catalan children had been corresponding with children living in a refugee camp in Croatia who had witnessed the Yugoslav Wars of 1991-1995. The children in the refugee camp told their Catalan friends, “You know what we miss most? We miss laughter, to have fun, to enjoy ourselves.” Tortell took his car and a small troupe of clowns with him to the camp without any idea of what to expect. Hundreds of children and families greeted him—nearly the entire camp! The clowns performed and then in their laughter and applause, the children asked the team, “When will you all return again?” Payasos Sin Fronteras (Clowns Without Borders) was born. Inspired by Poltrona’s work, Moshe Cohen then founded Clowns Without Borders USA in 1995. CWB-USA now coordinates as a member of the international federation, Clowns Without Borders International.


Get involved

Without members, donors and volunteers, Clowns Without Borders couldn’t carry on the vital work of spreading joy to children who need it the very most. Please consider joining us in our mission. See how you can get involved!

Become a Member

Spread laughter around the world! In 2015, with the help of our donors, we have been able to send clowns to Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, Greece, Colombia, Nepal, as well as two domestic projects in Texas and California. Become a member of CWB-USA today to be part of this important work!

Connect with us!

One of the very best ways to support CWB is to share our work with a broader audience.  You can do that by liking our Facebook page, and following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.  Spread the word!


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