EMERGENCY RELIEF WHERE WORDS COME SHORT
“I think it is essential
that the medical clowns continue the very important work they do with
the trauma victims from October 7th.
They bring with them to the intervention: play, playfulness and humor, which actually builds resilience for the future.”
The Center for the Study of Child Development
The 7th of October 2023
An entire population in southern Israel, on the Gaza border, was brutally attacked: children, adults and elderly people were assaulted in their homes by terrorists who went on to murder and burn many of their houses down. The survivors witnessed shooting, kidnapping, rape and beheadings. Some hid in cupboards or under beds for up to 30 hours before being saved.
Approximately 130,000 families have been forced to flee their homes and are now displaced in various hotels and locations around the country for temporary housing.
We are reaching out for financial aid to fund a life changing project, treating a population with severe traumatic experiences from the October 7 attack.
We call it “Hug the Frontline”. We need your immediate support to go forward and avoid as many cases of PTSD as possible for a future generation. Time is precious: the time following a traumatic event is crucial for treatment.
Galia Yaoli, a well-known theater producer and educator, initiated a volunteer project immediately after the attack “Hug the Frontline”. A trained and experienced team of multidisciplinary artists with specific knowledge and experience working with war victims and in humanitarian crises volunteered to work day and night in the city of Eilat, which at present hosts ten thousand refugees in hotels.
The artistic team consists of four performers, and includes a medical clown from Dream Doctors, a pantomime/ circus actor, a puppeteer and a workshop puppet maker.
Their work is adapted to the needs according to age and the type of trauma, individually or in smaller groups. The work is done with deep understanding, respect and listening in order to enable healing. The number of people affected is beyond what the official government social workers/psychologists can handle. “Hug the Frontline” achieves great results with its activities.
In order to continue this extremely essential activity in January and February 2024, we need your help to find financial aid of USD $100 000.
A team of four enters the hotel/residence where a large group of displaced people live temporarily. The team will create an atmosphere in the lobby, generating special attention from the residents. Each activity is done in four separate locations, coordinated with the hotel staff. No special room or equipment is required.
The medical clowns will create an activity to enable communication not only with one subject, but with the entire space. Creating intimacy and interaction and by that breaking attitudes of people in extreme trauma.
The puppeteer will work from under coffee tables or sofas or any possible place to create interaction or even cooperation with the traumatized children.
The puppetry workshop is done with two to five children with minimal equipment and often with a parent. They will then be taught to prepare and perform their own hand puppets,and will be encouraged to express through the puppet what they cannot express themselves, and externalize their experiences.
The activities help to encourage imagination and order in a world full of chaos.
The program offers a safe space to open, build trust, and develop coping skills using therapeutic drama games, humor, art and problem-solving activities. The program aims to help children explore a range of creative and emotional expressions.
Trauma can have a long lasting influence on a child’s self-value, behavior and social developments and therefore, processing traumatic events is vital.
The duration of activity is 1 ½ hour in three hotels per day, 12 activities per day.
The activity is followed up on continuous days to build trust.
The team uses a car as transport. A logistic producer is in charge of the schedule and coordination.
The monthly cost of operation is US$ 48000 which includes 20 days activity in 30 different hotels.
We anticipate this work to be needed at least for two consecutive months, January and February 2024.
Recruiting and intensive training programs to the local community
A separate emergency training plan for new local therapists/artists is
budgeted for additional monthly US$ 2,000, i.e. an additional US$ 4,000 in total
adding up to the sum of US$ 100 000 .
See separate sheet for detailed budget and team CV’s.
We kindly request your support to allow this significant project to continue, and to ensure the mental health of an entire future generatio
Partners of the initiative
Dream doctors was founded in 2002 with the goal of integrating professional medical clowns as part of the medical teams in Israel’s hospitals regardless of race or religion, providing support to more than 200,000 children annually and responding fast and effectively to natural and civil disasters around the world. Each child or adult at the hospital is supported by a medical clown during all examinations taken during his hospitalization. The presence of the Dream Doctor reduces stress and increases the welfare of the child allowing him or her to find the strength to overcome illness. It also facilitates the auscultation and diagnosis by the medical team. The Dream Doctor Project is also actively working to bring about an official recognition of medical clowning as a licensed paramedical profession with set standards recognized by Israel's Ministry of Health.
EVE foundation aims to enhance the independent creation scene in Israel, to allow freedom and goals for independent creators and to promote independent Israeli creation both in Israel and worldwide. EVE serves as a mother organization to handle production and budgets of projects.
The Ometz Association unites the artists and creators in the public sphere in Israel, including street theater artists, the circus and clowns. The medical clowns and the artists without the humanitarian experience united under this association will take part as artists and guide the work in public spaces.
The Train Theater , founded in 1981, is a puppet theater for children that encourages creative freedom and innovation of professional artists . A leader in its field. The senior artists of the theater will take part in the “Hug the Frontline” teams. The works are created from an in -depth search of personal expression and are aimed at the highest level of performance. The Train theater received numerous awards and recognition in Israel and the world. A theater committed and dedicated to community projects for diverse and special populations.
Galia Yoeli – Initiator / Logistics
Yoeli is the initiator of this project. A well-known cultural entrepreneur and producer of festivals in Israel, she has worked as artistic director and producer of festivals such as the Acco Theatre Festival and Bat Yam International Festival of Street Theater and Art. She has extensive experience of producing cultural events in communities.
David (Dush) Barashi – professional medical clown & tutor for teams of artists working in humanitarian emergencies, founder of Ometz, and of Dream Doctors. Recipient of Kipod Hazahav (Gold Porcupine) prize. Barashi has traveled the world, to Ethiopia and Nepal among other locations in distress as part of Israel Defense Force missions. He offers these words of wisdom: “You can’t always change the situation, but you can almost always change the point of reality“.
Gil Becher – Artistic director of several theater festivals in Israel. An actor-director and medical clown and initiator of Ometz – work in public space. Recipient of Kipod Hazahav (Gold Porcupine) prize.
Ora Zimmerman- one of the veteran puppeteers in Israel, senior teacher of puppet theater as a therapeutic tool at the Dvora Tzafrir school. Specializes in guiding artists and educators using theater puppets to express themselves and heal.
Yvonne Kahan - fundraising coordinator “for Hug the Frontline “.
A cultural entrepreneur, producer, former director and agent at Olamale international artists with more than 30 years experience. Kahan is currently producing and directing documentary films.
For a more detailed budget of the activities or more information, please email us
Best regards and thank you in advance for your cooperation.