Red Noses with the Caravan Orchestra reach children with developmental disabilities
Today, the Red Noses performed in the Caravan Orchestra for children and youth under the care of the Centre for occupational rehabilitation (COR) in Črna na Koroškem. This musical theatre program, the first of its kind in Slovenia, was specially designed for children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. The Caravan Orchestra program has been supported by the Red Noses’ long-term partner, Lek, a Sandoz company.
Apart from their regular programs in hospitals, the Red Noses have been visiting children and adults with developmental disabilities for many years. The Caravan Orchestra clown program is, as they say, a response to a desire for gaining additional knowledge about how to work with children with developmental disabilities so that the children can derive maximum benefit from the clown doctors’ visit. The program was designed and donated to the International RNI organisation, a part of which are also the Slovenian red nosed clown-doctors, by Stichting CliniClowns, the clown-doctor organisation from the Netherlands.
Red Noses host the clown program in local institutions for children with developmental disabilities. A great deal of attention is paid to the preparation for the performance. The clowns learn about each participant in the performance, learn about his/her specifics – physical and psychological – in order to be able to approach him/her, reach out and create moments of personal connection.
It is also important to be sensitive to the conditions for carrying out the performance as this is a necessary prerequisite to creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere in which the children can unwind and feel at ease. The number of participants is limited, as it is important to give sufficient attention and time to the children and allow them to accept the clowns into their world. The action involves a musical, tactile and visual experience.
Eva Š. Maurer, artistic director Red Noses: »An important part in this performance is played by the keys – they open a chest with instruments and they themselves become an instrument in the hands of the children. A key is a symbol of the Caravan Orchestra Performance – it consists of attention, listening and time – and this key opens the door to the world of children with developmental disabilities. The Caravan Orchestra performance was conceived last year, and so far we have taken this many specialized institutions across Slovenia. The responses of the children to the performance are great and their carers are also delighted. Although not all clowns participate in the Caravan Orchestra, our colleagues passed on their new knowledge to the other clowns as well – especially the principles of how to approach a child with a developmental disability. The Caravan Orchestra program could not have been implemented without our long-term partner, Lek, a Sandoz company, which has been supporting us for several years in our regular programs that we carry out across Slovene hospitals.«
Through the performance, the children at the COR Črna na Koroškem learned about the story of three musicians – clown doctors who leave the circus and wish to establish their own band – so they search for musicians to join them. They find them among the audience, i.e. children with developmental disabilities, who, together with the clowns, form the Caravan Orchestra. Delighted about the Caravan Orchestra performance was also Vojka Lipovšek, director of the COR Črna na Koroškem: »With the Caravan Orchestra, the Red Noses made special impression on the children with their performance. Colours, noises, sounds and music, laughter and joy, time dedicated to an individual, were the keys that unlocked the deepest feelings in all of us watching the show. By soothing the inner soul of the children, they enabled, in a playful manner, the individual expression and fulfilment of children’s specific needs.«
Lek, a Sandoz company, has been supporting the Red Noses from the very beginning
The Red Noses have been operating for ten years, and Lek, a Sandoz company, has been supporting them since 2008. »The Caravan Orchestra performance addresses a group of children to whom the company has to give a chance and pay special attention. The mission of the Red Noses is closely intertwined with our care for health and wellbeing therefore we are happy to support them on their way. The Red Noses also represent an important milestone in patients facing their disease which embodies support on the journey to a better wellbeing,« said Zlatko Ajd, Head of Lek Production Prevalje.