What we do

The Emergency Smile (ES) programme was developed by RED NOSES International in 2013 to reach vulnerable people facing challenging circumstances across the globe.

With over 11 international locations, RED NOSES professional clowns work locally with children in hospitals, elderly people, people with disabilities and other groups in need of psychosocial support.

However, there is a global need for joy, laughter, and hope, particularly in crisis settings. These settings include natural disaster sites, refugee camps, and countries impacted by war.

A group of clowns may be the last thing people expect to see in a crisis setting. However, ES clowns undergo extensive training on how to work with and support vulnerable groups of people facing life altering circumstances. The figure of the clown is able to spread joy and laughter during even the darkest times. 

With this in mind, the ES team develops missions in which a group of international and specially trained clown artists, along with a Head of Mission, travel to crisis settings around the globe to provide support.

This support comes in the following formats:

  • Clown shows: A show performed by a group of clowns on an Emergency Smile mission. Each clown show is adapted according to the circumstances of the mission but is always designed to provide joy, normalise failure, and connect with emotions.
  • Humour relief workshops: A workshop for aid workers, medical staff, and volunteers working in crisis settings. These workshops aim to improve emotional well-being, teamwork, and to teach skills on the best ways to utilise humour.
  • Circus smile workshops: A workshop for minors where clowns teach skills such as juggling, acrobatics, magic, and more. By the end of the workshop, the children perform a show for their relatives, caregivers, and friends.
  • Musical parades: A team of clowns parade through the field playing music, collecting people to join them along the way.

The ES team work hard to develop the right type of support format for every mission based on the needs of the people they will encounter.

Along with the goal of providing psychosocial support to vulnerable people, ES missions also aim to make an impact that lasts, leaving behind a legacy of knowledge and positive emotions.


Stories from the field

Emergency Smile Missions

What our partners have to say...

Facts & Figures

Years of experience
Years of experience
Countries of operation
Countries of operation
Team members
Team members
Chiara Manavella
Emergency Smile Manager
T: +4313180313 – 56