Clown Therapy: “We are all the same when we smile”
It was not just about smiles and laughter, the clown show organized by UNIFIL in several villages in the area of operations was also the time for the team of highly trained professionals specialized in clown therapy to promote messages of hope and peace.
These messages were conveyed through comical movements, hilarious jokes and gestures in a carefully orchestrated performance held in the southern town of Ayta Shaab at the Care Centre for Children with Special Needs.
In 2013 UNIFIL's CIMIC and Civil Affairs Units organized the first clown therapy project, as a part of capacity building exercise when six Lebanese clown therapists were professionally trained. Now they are actively participating in these new rounds of clown therapy shows.
UNIFIL Deputy Chief of Civil and Military Cooperation office (CIMIC) Italian Major Leonardo De Santis said: "The project organized in 2013 was a real success, we wanted to repeat the clown therapy experience but with a new team composed of five people from the Italian non-governmental organization "ALL 4 CHILDREN" supported by the six trainees who were part of UNIFIL's Clown Therapy project in 2013."
Speaking about the importance of clown therapy and its usefulness in improving children's interaction, Mariam Srour, a teacher from Ayta Shaab Care Centre for Children with Special Needs said, "Today's show constituted a psychological therapy for our children by putting smiles on their faces and helping them not to feel different, but equal to others."