Clowns Without Borders
Clowns Without Borders International began in Spain in 1993 when Tortell Poltrona, a clown from Spain was asked by the children at a school in Barcelona to go to the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia to perform for refugee children.
Clowns Without Borders offers laughter to relieve the suffering of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and territories in situations of emergency. They bring levity, contemporary clown/circus oriented performances and workshops into communities so that they can celebrate together and forget for a moment the tensions that darken their daily lives. They also seek to raise our society’s awareness of affected populations and to promote a spirit of solidarity.
CWB recognizes that their work is made up of small moments. Although small and purely emotional, these moments build upon each other staying with children as they grow and supporting their incredible resilience. CWB works with relief organizations addressing psycho-social needs of those who suffer from traumatic situations.
Now, 20 years later, the Clowns Without Borders International Federation is made up of 12 Clowns Without Borders national chapter organizations.
Professional circus and street performers, clowns, actors, magicians and musicians offer their skills on a voluntary basis to bring laughter, dreams and poetry to communities in areas of crisis around the world.
All CWB chapters share the same objective: to improve the emotional wellbeing of communities, especially children, in areas of crisis through performances and other artistic interventions.
All of these chapter organizations are independent non-profits. CWB chapters are based in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America.
In 2013 alone, CWBI organized 81 projects performing 1090 performances for over 304,000 children.