Clowns Without Borders UK
1220. Samantha Holdsworth
Samantha Holdsworth, from London, is the founder of ‘Clowns Without Borders UK’, an arts-led charity that sends professional clowns into places of crisis to bring laughter to children living through disaster.
Samantha founded the non-profit organisation in 2014 and under her leadership the charity has worked in conflict zones and areas of emergency around the world, reaching nearly 6,000 Rohingya children in Bangladesh and 2,000 children in Zimbabwe. The charity has been instrumental in providing a form of ‘psycho-social aid’, helping children cope with stress and anxiety more effectively. ‘Clowns Without Borders UK’ also cooperates with other charities working in this field, such as Plan International and Oxfam, including messages of global health, human rights and education within their acts, teaching children valuable lessons.
In a personal letter to Samantha, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You should feel incredibly proud of how ‘Clowns Without Borders UK’ is bringing joy to children in conflict zones around the world. Your work is vitally important in helping children be children and I wish you well as you continue.”
“We joyfully accept this award and do so on behalf of all the children we meet and share laughter with. Their courage and resilience is truly amazing and our performances are a small way of saying to the kids, ‘we see you and we care about you’. With that in mind, thank you Point of Light for ‘seeing’ us. As professional artists, we donate our time and expertise for free because we so passionately believe in the power of joy to bring comfort and hope to kids living unimaginable disaster. Knowing others support and encourage our work inspires us to reach even more children through joy and play.”
Pictured below: Samantha working with Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh in November 2018