“When we started our application, we wondered, would the embassy even take our work seriously? We are delighted that they recognized the importance of play in education. Children learn through play. Especially for children who have experienced trauma or live with high levels of stress, play is essential.” — Naomi Shafer, CWB
Clowns Without Borders & Corporación Humor Y Vida awarded grant from US Embassy, Quito
The program is supported by the Public Affairs Section,U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador. This program has two main objectives. The first is a cultural exchange between Clowns Without Borders and Corporación Humor Y Vida. CWB will provide artist training and capacity building to the Ecuadorian-based organization. Together, the organizations will create an original performance about the Rights of The Child, which they will tour throughout Ecuador.
Clowns Without Borders has 30+ years experience producing over 150 tours in 40 countries bringing experiential learning and psychosocial interventions to post-conflict zones throughout the world.
Clowns and Public Affairs
“We are thrilled to receive this grant and to strengthen our partnership with Corporación Humor y Vida,” says Naomi Shafer, Clowns Without Borders Executive Director. “The two organizations share a vision of using art to leverage social change, this grant allows us to hire and train artists in both countries to develop a program to teach about the Rights of The Child.
“It is easy to dismiss our work as a joke,” Shafer continues. “When we started our application, we wondered, would the embassy even take our work seriously? We are delighted that they recognized the importance of play in education. Children learn through play. Especially for children who have experienced trauma or live with high levels of stress, play is essential.”
Corporación Humor y Vida
For the past ten years, Ecuadoran NGO Corporación Humor y Vida (CHV) has utilized alternative education methods of theater, circus, clown, puppetry and other art forms to deliver human rights education to at-risk communities. Simultaneously they have supported democracy and security in border communities by working closely with local governments and providing alternatives to youth recruited by armed groups. Lastly, they have offered psychosocial opportunities for play and creative expression bringing performance and workshops to communities which have never received these types of opportunities from other sources.
“As “Humor y Vida” Corporation we are very happy and grateful to be able to count on the support of the CWB and the United States Embassy in Ecuador for being able to carry out our XII Edition of the Festival Revuelta a la Mitad del Mundo Por Una Cultura de Peace and build bridges of dialogue and cultural exchange between Artists from the United States and Ecuador with tools that contribute to educational processes and cultural integration between the Ecuadorian population and the population in a situation of mobility and the Ecuadorian population
COVID in Ecuador
COVID-19 has struck hard in Ecuador exacerbating existing inequalities in access to education while increasing instances of human rights violations, especially gender–and-family-based violence. Vulnerable populations – in particular immigrants and refugees from Venezuela and Colombia – have been hit hardest.
CWB led 5 workshops for professional artists as part of this program. Here, participants reflect on their experiences. We have shared the feedback as it was originally given, and translated to English.
I learned I don’t have to speak the same language as someone to be able to connect with another’s heart and creativity. – Lucy Shelby, CWB Performing & Teaching Artist
Hand in Hand
He aprendido que la capacidad de sorprenderme sigue ahí. A estar presente y disfrutar el aquí y ahora, sin pensarlo tanto, cuanto más se deje sorprender por sus propias debilidades, el Clown aparecerá con más fuerza. A escuchar cuando estás en colectivo, a mirar al público a mirar a tus compañeros. Mis pausas, mi respiración son importantes cuando salgo escena.
Amor y humor están de la mano.
I have learned that I still have the ability to be surprised. To be present and enjoy the here and now, without thinking so much, the more you let yourself be surprised by your own weaknesses, the Clown will appear stronger. To listen when you are in a collective, to look at the public and to look at your colleagues. My pauses, my breathing are important when I go out on stage.
Love and humor go hand in hand. -Maria, Workshop Participant
Celebrating the Mistake
Agradecida por esta oportunidad de conectar y aprender más del clown. Gracias por volver a disfrutar y sonreír.
Lo que más amé es celebrar el error! Y reconectar con cada uno.
I am grateful for this opportunity to connect and learn more about the clown. Thank you for enjoying and smiling again.
What I loved the most is celebrating the mistake! And reconnecting with each other. -Loretta, Workshop Participant
How Much I Have to Learn
Agradezco tanto esta semana de aprendizaje en la cual he conocido cuánto me falta por aprender a ceder el control y el liderazgo. Y a conocer un poco más su labor.
I am so grateful for this week of learning in which I have learned how much I still have to learn to give up control and leadership. And to know a little more about the work of CWB. -Karol, Workshop Participant
The Possibilities of Clown
Muchas gracias por compartir diversas vivencias y experiencias durante el taller esta semana. Creo que fue un espacio seguro y enriquecedor en el que poder experimentar, sentir y reflexionar sobre las posibilidades del mundo del payaso en el ámbito social.
Thank you very much for sharing various experiences during the workshop this week. I think it was a safe and enriching space in which to experience, feel and reflect on the possibilities of the world of the clown in the social sphere.
– Kike, Workshop Participant