Clowns Without Borders is a Humanitarian Aid organisation working on behalf of children in disaster. We have developed a range of tools assisting the recovery of children and young people in crisis situations.
Our website catalogues how Clowns Without Borders delivers more effective Humanitarian Aid than our Partners alone.
We operate in over 14 countries, with 21 professional Facilitators, delivering over 30 projects. These focus on Humanitarian Disaster relief, offering respite to over 55,000 participants.
But, our impact goes beyond that… We understand children are incredibly good communicators, with large networks of their own. This means, we empower each participant with tools to repeat what they have learned.
Whilst we share joy and laughter,
our work is making a serious difference…
— Samantha Holdsworth, CEO.
Our simple and effective approach is acknowledged as an important step in supporting behaviour change, a key Humanitarian Objective for Our Partners.
Winner of The Kindness Awards
Recognised by Positive News and skincare brand Simple
The Kindness Awards were launched February 2020 by skincare brand Simple, in partnership with Positive News.
On April 6th, the votes were counted, and Clowns Without Borders UK claimed their prize.
Points of Light
Recognised by Prime Minister, Theresa May
In July 2019, Samantha Holdsworth was awarded the Points of Light award. This is 10 Downing Street’s way of recognising people making a vital voluntary contribution.
Who we are
The main workload is handled by a Core Team of three people. They support local Facilitators and Volunteers working in multiple timezones to deliver better, more effective Aid.
Sam set up Clowns Without Borders in 2014, with the goal of reinventing Humanitarian Aid delivery to children and young people. Today, that goal has become a reality for thousands of participants and continues to deliver more effective Humanitarian Aid, than our Partners alone.
The Early Years
Sam began her career as a Facilitator creating social change in diverse community settings. In 2007, she co-founded Nimble Fish to develop National and International cultural events.
Over 12 inspiring years, Sam managed £1m budget, co-ordinated with up-to 60 artists per. project, and created an Award-Winning production company in it’s own right.
Halima is a Romanian-Israeli-Moroccan Producer and Facilitator .
She developed theatre projects for social change in the UK, France, Morocco and Romania.
Halima is a broadly experienced creative, with leadership qualities.
Edward grew up in Malawi and Swaziland, although is originally from the UK.
He works on international projects with a focus on operations, monitoring and safety.
In 2014 Edward founded a musical, visual arts festival: No Tengo Mama, in Vigo, Spain.
Our Facilitators are anything but clowns. They work in crisis zones, areas of natural disaster,
prisons and hospitals. They are broadly skilled across education, physical theatre, drama, dance, music, circus and comedy. Our Facilitators are highly skilled professional artists.
The common thread that ties them together, is a powerful belief that laughter, joy and play can make the world a more hopeful and peaceful place.
Working in crisis, demands people with high levels of sensitivity and awareness to work effectively. That’s why our Facilitators are experts in creating safe, joyful spaces where children and young people feel welcome.
We have a team of 21 Facilitators… and counting.
Find out more about how to become a Facilitator and work with us.
Clowns Without Borders, UK is run by a small administrative team,
donating much of their time and expertise for free.
We are governed by a Board of Trustees, consisting of six Trustees, lead by two Senior Trustees.
Dr. Unni Krishnan
Unni provides valuable insight of the invisible impact of disaster on children and young people. He works on frontline humanitarian issues as an advocate where people encounter hostile forces, disasters and terror.
The hatred that triggers bitter conflict is the number one most difficult and frightening issue…
— Dr. Unni Krishnan, Man on a mission
Senior Trustee, Treasurer
Shilpa actively supports children and young people’s rights by ensuring funds reach those in need. She has over twenty years of experience as a leader in Financial Services and has been a Trustee of Street Child.
Tanya is a former lawyer, turned humanitarian. She lends her communication expertise to International NGOs, such as Oxfam, and communities affected by disaster.
When not in Oxford, Tanya can be found gathering stories in an emergency context or writing for the Huffington Post.
Niki is an Award Winning campaigner and co-founder of the environmental charity Feedback. During her contribution there, she launched campaign events across more than 20 countries and served as Executive Director for six years.
Niki’s accolades include
The Sheila McKechnie Foundation Environmental Justice Campaigner of the Year 2015, and awards from
Nesta and the
BBC Food & Farming Awards. She has an extensive, varied background offering us valuable insight.
Wendy read history at Cambridge and established her career in marketing and communications. As the first Head of Marketing for Channel 4 Television, she is an adept strategist.
Wendy has been Director of Marketing at The Design Council, and has held numerous board-level roles as Director of Planning in major advertising agencies, such as McCann Erickson and Publicis.
Now, Wendy specialises in objective, creative development as the Director of, The Complete Brief.
Annabel is our Artists Representative and Facilitator from Swaziland and Malawi. For the last six years, Annabel has been a Project Co-ordinator, Tour Leader and Artist for Clowns Without Borders, South Africa.
In 2008, Annabel Founded Creative Beans, a social and personal transformation hub for young people and adults.
Annabel has an adaptive, can-do approach helping to pilot new ways to support learning.
Ed has been a Trusts and Institutions Fundraiser for child rights and protection programmes for 9 years.
Originally working at UNICEF as a Foundations Manager, he is now Head of Institutional Partnerships. Prior to these positions, he worked for the NSPCC as a Major Gifts Fundraiser and graduated with an MA in Children, Youth and International Development from Brunel University, London.
Ed likes to share our stories of “happiness and laughter”, with his wonderful linkedIn network.