Our healthcare clowns from Hungary, visited a refugee centre, set up in a youth hostel building close to the border. In there, they met with families from the same villages in Ukraine. They started with a musical parade, going through the whole building, which can be a gentle first meeting with the people. A moment with a lot of possibilities for joy and connection.

“The reaction was stronger than we expected. The kids were all around us after a few minutes and found the connection with the clowns immediately. The adults, who were mostly mothers and grandmothers, were sadder and more stressed at the beginning. It was so great to see how they slowly opened to connect with us. They supported the kids but also started to use this moment to relax and be free from their heavy feelings.

Close to the end, a woman approached us and very silently said: “my husband couldn’t come, he has to fight, but I hope we will return home very soon”. We asked if she wanted to send a message to the air, and her face got brighter. We started to sing a gentle and beautiful song for all the family members that stayed in Ukraine. People around joined to sing with us. A teardrop slowly went down her face and she whispered: “Thank you, this means a lot!”

It was very touching to say goodbye, and everybody asked us to return very soon. This encounter, and the shared present, was strong enough to awake hope”.