A smile is universal, laughter a common language.
As we move forward with planning for round two of our circus performance tour, we have begun to brainstorm how to make even more of an impact. The thing we talk a lot about is how to create something tangible out of the experience. We want to give children something to take with them, not just be a fading memory of someone who once visited to make them laugh.
One idea that has been brought to the table is adding thematic elements to our show. For example, using circus and clowning to teach useful life skills. Notice that in so many of the pictures I have posted you can see the effects of poor nutrition and a lack of good dental hygiene in those beautiful ear to ear grins. It seems like a perfect opportunity to teach about nutrition and teeth brushing-- while maybe even giving out donated toothbrushes. It's certainly possible as there are organizations out there doing something similar. In my research I came across one organization in Argentina that runs volunteer based dental clinics.
Todos Juntos' MISSION STATEMENT: Our aim is to improve the daily living conditions of these underprivileged children by supplying free restorative dental care and hygiene, school supplies, food, clothing and shoes. The trust also supports a network of state-run soup kitchens with materials and equipment.
They are high on our list of people to contact before heading down to South America. Because what educator wouldn't like a few clowns to stop by and support their cause? ;-)