Bring Play to Children Impacted by War & Conflict and Help Them Heal, Learn & Thrive

Business for Better Society is pleased to support Clowns Without Borders UK and their 2023 planned program which will reach approximately 2,500 Syrian and Turkish children (plus parents and caregivers) through at least 20 play-based performances and supporting workshops delivered by our expert facilitators and performance artists.

Through aid cuts and the world’s focus elsewhere the result has been ever-worsening conditions for Syria’s refugees. Over 1.7 million Syrian children have fled to Turkey (UNICEF, 2021). Displacement has extremely harmful effects on all children and their families. The most formative years of their lives are marked by upheaval, chaos, and violence, all with lasting effects on their development and wellbeing (Burghardt, 2005; McEwen, 2007, Chatterjee, 2018). 


Clowns Without Borders UK will deliver child-centred performances and supporting workshops for Syrian and Turkish children near the Syrian border and in Istanbul and Ankara. Their activities enable children to laugh, play and reconnect with childish impulses. Their evidence-based methodology focuses on using play to support children’s social-emotional learning and focuses on five core skills; emotional regulation, self-expression, self-awareness and friendship building. Their approach is asset-based and they believe children are capable and resourceful.

Clowns Without Borders UK has been active in Turkey since 2016, and they have a team of local performance artists in Turkey. Their goal is to train and include at least one Syrian performer on this project. Over 12-months at a projected cost of £19,420 they will: 

  1. Reach 2,500 Syrian and Turkish children (plus parents and carers) through at least 20 play-based performances and supporting workshops delivered by expert facilitators and performance artists
  2. Train at least 50 adults from local and grass-root NGOs through CWB UK’s ‘Laughter and Play’ approach, enabling them to provide their play-based workshops and performances for even more children.

Clowns Without Borders UK is Making a Difference

Following their intervention, at least 80% of children will show improvements in subjective well-being. 

At least 92% of adult participants completing their train-the-trainer programme will show an increase in their skills and knowledge.

On average, each adult trainee will likely reach a further 750 children over the next 5 years (an additional 45,000 children), multiplying our impact exponentially.

Introduction to Clowns Without Borders UK

Clowns Without Borders UK (CWB UK) uses laughter and play as a stabilising force for children in crisis zones. They share joyful performances and workshops with marginalised children and train frontline workers to use play to engage, inspire and support children.

Working with professional performance artists, they provide emotional and psychosocial ‘first aid’ to support children’s well-being at a critical time. All their work uses evidence-based practice to develop activities that build resilience and make space for children to be seen and heard. The principles of clowning – playfulness, generosity and collaboration – shape all interventions and make them uniquely capable of helping bring joy to vulnerable children.

They provide increased opportunities for quality play in children’s daily life so that they have ways to channel negative emotions and make sense of what’s happening around them. Play promotes optimal child development, and is fundamental to a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development and overall well-being. This is equally important for every child, regardless of their situation.

Vision ~ We believe that every child deserves a childhood filled with laughter and play. We aim to be the champions of joy.

Mission ~ To share the healing power of laughter and play with children impacted by war and natural disasters.

Overall Goal ~ To contribute to the psychosocial well-being and resilience of children in humanitarian settings by creating the conditions for playfulness to thrive. 

100% of your donation will go to the 2023 program for Syrian and Turkish children.