Clowns Without Borders is partnering with Médecins Sans Frontières-France (MSF-France) for a special project in Haiti. In addition to performing in hospitals, CWB will be leading “Find Your Funny” workshops for MSF staff.
Both MSF and CWB have long histories in Haiti. CWB first toured Haiti after Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. Haiti experiences annual damage during hurricane season, which has a ripple effect on the nation. MSF has provided disaster-response care and ongoing support to the Haitian medical infrastructure for the past 19 years. After Hurricane Matthew (2016) MSF responded to strikes at public hospitals, set up cholera treatment centers, and brought medical supplies to towns that had been cut off. CWB will be working with MSF in Port-Au-Prince, with a focus on MSF’s centers for pediatric burns and gender-based crimes.
Aid workers and health care providers are impacted by Secondary Trauma Exposure, which can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. CWB’s “Find Your Funny” workshops address how these professionals can use laughter to alleviate the stress of their jobs and have a compassionate response. The project objective is not only to bring levity to patients, but also share tools with care-providers so that they too can spark moments of joy for themselves, each other, and their patients.
After a week with MSF, CWB will travel south, and reunite with MJC, a Haitien-led youth group. We will lead workshops for MJC, and perform for villages impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This tour is a mix of workshops, performances, and hospital visits—skills that are reflected in our team. The artists for this tour include Kaitlin Kaufman, Geoff Marsh, and Naomi Shafer.
For more information about MSF’s work in Haiti, look here.