“You know what we miss most? We miss laughter, to have fun, to enjoy ourselves.”
Clowns Without Borders began in 1993, when children in Barcelona raised funds to send Tortell Poltrona to refugee camps in Croatia. The children in Barcelona got the idea from their penpals, refugees in Croatia, who said, “We miss laughter.”
The first project unexpectedly attracted audiences of more than 4,000 children, proving to Poltrona that there is a great need for clowns and entertainment in crisis situations. He founded Clowns Without Borders to offer humor as a means of psychological support to communities that have suffered trauma.
In May of 1993, two more clowns, Boni & Caroli, accompanied Tortell, traveling and performing in the refugee camps in Croatia. Soon Clowns Without Borders organizations sprung up in France and Sweden. The CWB movement expanded into other areas of conflict. Since 1993, Clowns Without Borders chapters have completed 127,500 projects in 123 countries around the world.
CWB – USA IS BORN
After traveling to perform in Guatemalan refugee camps in Chiapas, Mexico (1987) and in South African township schools (1991), Moshe Cohen participated with the French, Clowns Sans Frontieres, in Croatia (1994). He then started Clowns Without Borders USA in 1995. In 2006, the organization incorporated as a 501(c)3 non profit. CWB-USA operates thanks to the professional clowns who donate their time while on tour.
CWB AROUND THE WORLD
Clowns Without Borders exists in fifteen countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States). Together, we form Clowns Without Borders International. All CWB chapters share the same vision: to create a world where all people can experience laughter, play, and feel hope, especially in humanitarian crises.