Clowns Without Borders (CWB-USA) is a non-profit organization which offers resilience through laughter. We aim 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.
RESILIENCE THROUGH LAUGHTER
Clowns Without Borders USA advocates for Resilience Through Laughter. 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 initiate resilience through laughter with social circus, psychosocial support through play, restorative narrative, and collaborative communication. We also seek to raise our society’s awareness of affected populations and to promote a spirit of solidarity.
It was July 1993. A clown from Barcelona, Spain, named Tortell Poltrona, was asked for help by a group of school children. These Catalan children had been corresponding with the children of families who fled the Yugoslav War and were living in a Croatian refugee camp. 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 drove from Spain to Croatia without any idea of what to expect. Hundreds of children and families greeted him—nearly the entire camp! He performed and then in their laughter and applause, the children asked, “When will you all return again?” Indeed, Tortell did return, with the comedy unicycle/juggling duo, Boni and Caroli. 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.
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!