The Clown Doctors Introduced their new website this week, check below, the organization is energized with the presence of a new coordinator, Anneloes Loesje Poelmann, a Dutch-born vacation rental / real estate agent, who scours the beaches collecting trash as a hobby, on her day off.
Yes, a person like that exists.
She loves dogs, kids, birds and bees, and she is the new president-in-the-making of the Clown Doctors organization, the person being groomed by Peter Balliere as his successor.
Almost twenty-years ago Belgian-born restaurateur Peter Balliere founded the Clown Doctors in Aruba. I became the godmother of the organization and Ruben Garcia, the godfather.
The not-for-profit entertained ailing children in the hospital and visited the elderly in the old people’s homes, bringing laughter and human contact to the frail. The clowns also visited children with special needs and the handicapped in government institutions.
In its hay days, the organization moved a great number of clowns around the Hospital, Bibito Pin, Marie-Stella, and Casa Cuna, relying on public donations to keep the initiative alive.
The Clown Doctors are no circus clown they are contact clowns, big difference, they don’t barge in noisily to interrupt and disrupt, but rather filter in and adapt to the mood and their client’s state-of-mind, slowly and gently, cheering them up, for the big reward, a smile.
Peter made sure his crew was well-trained to identify sensitive situations by the Belgian Clown Doctors who frequently conducted trainings and personnel exchanges.
Alas, when Peter moved back to Belgium to start a family, the organization kept going, but lost a bit of steam after a while.
Until this summer.
New chief, new website, new energy, with a bundle of ideas at the helm, Loesje.
And we’re looking for new clowns: If you love kids, and empathize with them, know something about child psychology and have some free time, you are our man/woman.
The Clown Doctors work in their adopted stage-personae, and perform under a stage-name, with a costume they pick, mismatched, oversize, or much too small, as their individual attribute. What they have in common is the red nose.
They get paid a bit for their time, and the gasoline in their cars, and there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with holding the hands of a lonely, institutionalized elderly, or singing along with a hospitalized kid.