Israeli medical clowns bring joy in Thailand and Cambodia

 

Copyright: Embassy of Israel, Bangkok

In a project sponsored by the Israel Embassy in Bangkok, medical clowns Avital Dvory and Shahar Horowitz appeared in six hospitals and shelters in Thailand and Cambodia. They put on shows, engaged the patients and their families in a variety of activities, and lectured to local medical staff. The hospitals chosen are known for the innovativeness of their children’s wards, and the senior staff took an active part in the activities.

At the Mercy Center in Bangkok, with which the Israel Embassy has a tradition of cooperation, the children received gifts and shirts decorated with the I Love Israel logo and Israeli and Thai flags. At several hospitals in Bangkok, the clowns brought smiles to sick children.

Israeli medical clowns bring joy in Thailand and Cambodia

Avital Dvory with a young patient in Taksin Hospital
Copyright: Embassy of Israel, Bangkok

In Cambodia, the pair of clowns visited the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital, as well as the Mith Samlanh shelter for marginalized children and youths. Mith Samlanh ("Friends" in English) was established in August 1994 as an NGO to work with street children in Phnom Penh. Its projects aim to facilitate the children’s social reintegration into their families, the public school system, the workplace, and their culture. It offers food, shelter, medical care, training and educational facilities for over 1,800 homeless, vulnerable or abandoned children each day.

Israeli medical clowns bring joy in Thailand and Cambodia

The Israeli medical clowns at Mith Samlanh, Friends International, Cambodia
Copyright: Embassy of Israel, Bangkok

The Medical Clowns are professional clowns and stage artists who trained in patient therapy during hospital admission or ambulatory treatment. They are a part of Israel’s Dream Doctor Project, established in 2002 at Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. Scientific research studies proven that the presence of a medical clown helps reduce the anxiety of the child patient and family, lessens pain and alleviates depression, and sometimes makes it unnecessary to use sedation. It transforms hospitalization into a more pleasant and less traumatic experience.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has integrated Dream Doctors in goodwill missions abroad.