Over 180,000 Burundian refugees, over 50% of which are children, have fled into Tanzania seeking refuge. These children living in desperate, overcrowded conditions, at risk of disease have witnessed extreme violence or have been separated from their parents.
Since the camps were established in April 2015, Plan International has been setting up safe spaces for children to continue their education and to play and have fun. Many of these children, supported by generous sponsors in Ireland, have been on the move for months, often without shelter and on their own.
Recently, we joined up with Clowns Without Borders to bring some smiles to the children in the camp and to help begin to heal the trauma caused by their escape Burundi.
On seeing the troupe of clowns enter their camp, a seven year old girls asked, “What’s the job of the clown?”
To let children (and even adults) be children again. To laugh, to smile, to chuckle and even sometimes to forget. To forget the bad things that have happened in their lives and think of happier times.
… shouted one of the clowns as he squirted the camp manager with water from his fake flower.