Photo: Andrew Kimmel via Twitter
The strength of Ukrainian families over the past few weeks of war with Russia has been undeniable, and it's come with some touching moments of humanity and support from others. We've seen Polish parents leave their strollers on the train platforms for incoming refugees and little Amelia bringing tears and smiles to the faces of those around her while singing "Let It Go" in a bomb shelter. Now, a troupe of clowns is delighting children and their parents alike, cheering on refugees as they enter Moldova.
A user on Reddit posted footage of the silly clowns at the border crossing. Take a look at the video here:
The clowns are seen joking around with giggling kids, giving out lollipops and squeaking their signature horns. Even parents couldn't help but crack a smile while watching their kids goof around. Blowing up balloons and handing out candy, the clowns gave children and their families a much needed distraction.
They are part of The Dream Doctors Project, where professional medical clowns called "Dream Doctors" bring joy to those in need. They work to provide emotional relief to families and children in hospitals.
They're in the midst of a week-long emergency mission in Moldova, where they'll use therapeutic techniques to help refugee children and families who were forced to flee their homes after Russia's invasion.
TV producer Andrew Kimmel interviewed three of the clowns: Ariel (Slinky), Ilia (Buzz), and Smadar (Shemesh). "We don't even speak the same language, but humour and feeling is a universal language," one says. "We feel like if we can help them share with us what they go through, we can hug them and sit with them. It's not enough, but it's what we can do." Kimmel posted the interview on Twitter.
Thousands of refugees are entering the country and staying in absorption centres in Chisinau, where the Dream Doctors have their work cut out for them—they hope to bring some cheer to every refugee in the country. The project has also started raising money for the refugees entering Moldova, and as of now, they've amassed more than $22,000 CAD.
The lives of Ukrainian children and their families have been forever changed and, like all of the refugees thrust from their homes suddenly and inhumanely, they deserve better. These little moments where they can feel like kids again will hopefully give them hope.