RED NOSES emergency response to refugees from Ukraine

Waking up in the middle of the night by alarm sirens, children up, packing the essentials in the suitcase and quickly on the first train from home to the station to protect themselves. This has been the reality for many Ukrainian families for over two weeks. According to the United Nations (UNHCR), around 4.8 million people have left Ukraine as a result of the war and many more are expected to leave. Mostly grandmothers, mothers and children flee abroad and say goodbye to their fathers, sons and husbands at the border.

In emergencies like these, RED NOSES reacts quickly to the need for psychosocial care for the children and relatives who have fled. In crises, the focus is on the existential need of those affected. Children in particular need special attention and affection during these times. Playing with the clowns, they can forget the burden of fleeing for a moment and be a child again.

Clowns are crisis experts. You don't judge, you accept. They change perspective and mobilize resources. And so all RED NOSES countries are joining forces and carry out many clown assignments in the border areas and in the countries of arrival for refugees.

RED NOSES tooth brushing shows for refugee children from the Ukraine

The RED NOSES tooth brushing show playfully shows refugee children that brushing their teeth is important. In the meantime, the show, which has already been established in many RED NOSES facilities, is also popular among children who have fled from the Ukraine. In recent weeks, numerous tooth brushing shows have taken place regularly in various facilities, such as in Paaren Glien in Brandenburg or in Berlin in an emergency shelter on Fritz-Wildung-Strasse operated by the Berlin State Affairs for Refugees (LAF). The children are happy about the appearance of the three RED NOSES clowns and can also teach them something: how to use a toothbrush to brush your teeth properly. This strengthens their self-esteem and of course is a lot of fun!

Star opening visit to the arrival center for refugees from Ukraine in Berlin-Tegel

Where planes use to land back then, life is now starting anew for many people from Ukraine. In the arrival center at the former Berlin-Tegel Airport, the refugees are given everything they need to survive. RED NOSES clowns primarily support psychosocial health and welcome people with warmth and humor.

The star tenor Rolando Villazón was also present at the opening visit in Berlin-Tegel. Together with RED NOSES clowns Brischitt and Bemoll, the colorful trio transformed the reception tent into a stage. With musical interludes from the country genre and slapstick, Rolando Villazón, Mathew Burton and Maria Gundolf earned great applause from the audience as clowns. A mother and her son were even solemnly escorted to the bus that was to take them to their final accommodation. It was a successful visit.

RED NOSES at Berlin's main train station

Carefree moments for refugee children and their families from the Ukraine - that's what RED NOSES clowns take care of every day in the arrival tent of the Berlin City Mission at the main train station in Berlin. Initiated by the “Volunteers Help” association, two artists have been on site since March 18, 2022 and invite the children to play. Even in times of need, children should be allowed to be children.

It's the small gestures that make people happy for the moment and make a big difference. The clowns manage to make people smile despite their sadness and fear. Some cry because someone is there for them. RED NOSES artists show you that you are welcome here in Germany.

RED NOSES help in Berlin

The first encounters between the RED NOSES clowns and Ukrainian refugees also took place in Germany. On March 10th and 11th, our artists gave moments of happiness and hope to the families in the arrival center on Oranienburger Straße in Reinickendorf.

"Everything takes place out there and in tents with camp beds," reports Reinhard Horstkotte, the artistic director and clown Filou. "It's a first port of call. People get medical care, food and clothing here. As clowns we ran from group to group, from family to family. People were very happy about the little magic tricks, games and musical interludes. adults like children. Sometimes they were moved to tears.”

Love song for the city of Odessa

Luise Lähnemann alias RED NOSES Clown Gogo was there too. “As clowns we entered the tent city with music. It was a constant coming and going. Many people's heads were bowed, their eyes often teary-eyed. But almost everyone looked up when we passed and greeted us. A first icebreaker is music. Clown B-Flat minor played his guitar and a boy started dancing. The parents filmed this short moment of happiness. Elsewhere, when we were improvising a song, a lady burst into tears and said it was so good that we're there. We even made a live call to Odessa with a mobile phone and sang a love song for the city of Odessa. Gradually the mood changed. It was a bit like the first flowers in spring. The clown offers a protected space where everything is still possible, above all hope.”