Clowns to Make Twins Acceptable

The association Clowns Sans Frontières (Clowns Without Borders), which is active in 23 countries, has been busy in Madagascar since 2000. It organizes shows with local artistes to raise the population’s awareness of the theme of child protection. Its goal is to attenuate the beliefs and break the taboos which hamper the development of the country and weigh on the future of children.

Social and Employment

Mananjary, Madagascar

Aude Loctin

15 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/01/31
  Project leader Clowns sans frontières

«  The fun aspect of the performances makes the kids happy, albeit fleetingly, and also helps send messages that may be crucial for their survival. It’s a comprehensive project which takes advantage of the experience of the clowns present in Madagascar since 2000, as well as serious and effective partnerships. »

Aude Loctin

Teams from Clowns Sans Frontières have been operating in Madagascar since 2000. In Grande Ile, many taboos and beliefs continue to hamper the country’s development and weigh heavily on the every day life and future of the children. The clowns and their “colleagues” (actors, dancers, musicians, acrobats, etc.) strive to dispel certain taboos through the humor and poetry of their performances. In five years, Clowns Sans Frontières France has organized 37 shows for the population and particularly for children.

Not just act, but also train Madagascan clowns

In the eastern region of Mananjary, the association's new show is aimed to broach the issue of twins with the public. This is because in this part of the island, twins are considered a curse. At best, they are sent to orphanages which take charge of them, but they may also simply be discarded by their families.

Clowns Sans Frontières has set the objective of mitigating the taboo that threatens these multiple births. Its new show is designed to spark a debate on the issue and on the impact of taboos in Madagascan society. It is scheduled for spring of 2006 and will be preceded by two weeks of training workshops for local artistes and volunteers, on stage right from the beginning, who can then animate the road shows themselves, without the help of the French artistes. To carry out this training project, Clowns Sans Frontières will rely on two other NGOs: Handicap International and Entraide Madagascar.

To help set up this show and enable the workshops to run smoothly, the Veolia foundation is party to the initiative, with a contribution of 15 000 euros.