'Our message is simple: We stand side by side with everybody that's involved, specifically the children, letting them know that they're important and that happiness matters, and that their sense of self matters. We're going to get to as many of these children as possible, and make them laugh, and make them feel loved.'
- founder Ash Perrin
The refugee crisis has grabbed attention worldwide for many reasons, but for us it is the suffering of the children caught up in this mess that really hits home.
Children of all ages are leaving everything they know behind, traveling through the harshest and most terrifying situations heading to an unknown destination. Many of them have witnessed shocking sights and experienced horrors that none of us can imagine, and they are now far from home, ill, tired and scared.
This is where we step in.
Our offering: the medicine of laughter and play to provide a chance to relax, a chance to smile, a chance to be children again.
Since 2007, the Flying Seagull Project (http://www.theflyingseagullproject.com/ ) has been travelling the globe with a simple yet unbelievably inspiring mission - to bring smiles and laughter to corners of the world where they are needed most. They have worked from the UK and mainland Europe to Ghana, Cambodia and India - in orphanages, hospitals and most recently refugee camps, where they have brought their 'Happiness Matters' project.
I will be volunteering with the Seagulls for two weeks out in a refugee camp near Ioannina, Greece, playing games, clowning around, and trying to spread a little bit of silliness. Myself and the rest of the crew have all been through training, and are specialists in a range of areas from clowning, to circus skills, to performing, to youth work, to social activism. But we share one thing in common; a belief in the power of human connection and laughter.
To enable my small part in this I am hoping to raise £300, half of which goes towards my travel costs and the rest, a small contribution to the organisation to support the ongoing sustainability of the project. If we can exceed the target this money will go a long way!
If you too believe in the power of joy in times of adversity, I invite you to put your money where your smile is and pledge a little love to the world.
As a THANK YOU I will send you a link to something that makes me laugh, starting with a classic Victoria Wood sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6uGRJX6wQQ