Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness”
Brazil Clowning Project is a social project in Ireland that works connecting the two extremes of life – childhood and elder age. The project aims to promote more empathy, kindness and compassion in all places. Its main concept is “Intergenerational connection” – they want to take the benefits that this exchange between generations can bring for both age groups. For the children, the advantage would be to start understanding the cycle of life since the early years; For the elderly, the contact with a child-like energy could improve their quality of life.
The project started in February within the Brazilian community in Dublin. Karina Pereira, the founder, felt the urge to use her skills as a clown to provide help and care for people in Ireland. She founded and participated in another project with clowns back in Brazil and saw the improvements this practice can bring into people’s life. “I am a student here, so for me, it is more about our life purpose. When I decided to stay, it had less to do with improving my English and more about how I could help here with what I can do”.
With the project on her mind, she went online on Brazilian groups in the search for partners to make the project happen; the results could not have been better. “I posted on some groups and got a lot of answers… People that never worked as a clown but could do funny noises with their armpit or were great at storytelling. A lot of people wanted to take part of the project, so I decided to rethink the idea to make it more dynamic – whoever is already a clown can recycle themselves and those who were not, could take something good from this project too”. Now, Brazil Clowning Project has more than 20 volunteers giving their best to bring joy to people.
The project promoted a cycle of workshops to familiarize people with different ways of expression – the participants had lessons of poetry and improvisation, for instance. Karina believes that “every partner brought something new to the project”. Among other ideas, their first approach is to have a letter exchange between the children and the elderly – the clowns would work as a mediator for this initial relationship. “We will do a workshop with the kids and start a conversation about what it means to grow old, and we will prepare the elderly to receive the kids in the nursing homes”.
The Project is now looking for new partners to expand its barriers – they need to form partnerships with different schools and nursing homes that are willing to embrace the project. “We also intend on going outside the Brazilian community and start doing workshops in English, this way more people could join and help us”.
There is no cure for loneliness or old age. However, Brazil Clowning Project comes to show us that sometimes even that smallest things could make a difference – sometimes all we need is a smile and a funny red nose.