Clowns Visiting Refugee Camps to Help the Children Play

The Flying Seagull Project is a collective of clowns, musicians, dancers, play-workers, and play-specialists who work in the harshest of refugee camps across Europe to help the kids laugh, play, and feel good. They entertain as many kids as possible for free.

The project description on their website:

Many of the children who have experienced trauma need emergency emotional support and moral uplifting. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

Many of the children who have experienced trauma need emergency emotional support and moral uplifting. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

Ash Perrin, the ringmaster, speaks on this Amazing People / BBC Three video about when they first arrived. They were having doubts, wondering if they had made the right decision and questioning how they would be received — would the kids think they were insulting them? But then, the children reacted well with huge smiles, so this changed everything.

The play is light and caring. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

The play is light and caring. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

They bring to the camps music, circus, dance, arts, cinema, puppet-making, pizza decorating — anything that they can come up with to give the kids the opportunity to “feel good, feel daft, and to feel playful.”

They choose games that are simple and based on a lot of sound and movement, so it is not necessary to speak the same language — anyone can play. The games are light and caring, which allows the kids to have fun and forget about their worries for a while.

The British group use the power of play to help the kids let go of some anxiety. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

The British group use the power of play to help the kids let go of some of their anxiety. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

Ash Perrin in BBC Three interview:

“Their eyes sparkle just for a second and they are just kids again, and it’s so… it’s so simple, to be honest.”

Perrin trying to inject some positivity in the children's lives. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

Perrin trying to inject some positivity into the children’s lives. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

A young boy from the camp speaks about how before they came, the kids would just sit in the tent and do nothing, but now, they are out of the tents creating something from nothing.

The group has been bringing a lot of isolated children out of their tents and forming a sense of community and joy. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

The group will continue working in the camps through next year to bring a lot of isolated children out of their tents and form a sense of community and joy. (Image via BBC Three YouTube/Screenshot)

Ash Perrin in BBC Three interview:

Visit www.theflyingseagullproject.com if you would like to donate to the project.

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