• Continued PTSD relief to kids, teachers and communities we’ve reached previously
• Train teachers and parents how to recognize and facilitate effective PTSD care
• Raise PTSD awareness throughout Japan
• Provide our brand of smile therapy to other populations in need including orphanages, hospitals and women’s shelters
• Prepare to mobilize and act in the case of future domestic or regional traumatic events
• To bring laughter back to the victims of the Tohoku disaster and give the youth permission to be kids again.
• To alleviate PTSD issues amongst children, their families, care givers, teachers and, in turn, their communities.
• To empower children and build confidence and self esteem through learning circus skills.
• To lay the groundwork for a long-term Hospital Clown Care Program.
• Because laughing releases endorphins and serotonin, lowers blood pressure, increases body oxygen levels, strengthens the heart, boosts the immune system, fights diseases, colds and the flu and tells the body that everything is okay. The Smile Ambassadors’ primary goal is to bring back the smiles to the people of Tohoku and the response has been overwhelming. We have often been told that kids, teachers, parents and support staff have laughed for the first time in months after taking part in our programs.
• Interactive clowning, juggling, music and magic are just a few tricks that the Smile Ambassadors use at schools, daycare centers, hospitals and public events to spread joy and promote healing. Most people like to think that they are smart and funny. Kids especially enjoy being smarter and funnier then an adult authority figure. The Smile Ambassadors’ shows are designed to position audiences a few steps ahead of them… so they get the joke, figure out the trick or understand the circumstance before first. This subtle technique is very effective when dealing with traumatized or disadvantaged children, because it not only makes them feel smart and funny, it empowers them – they can see, understand and figure out solutions to situations that an adult is befuddled by. Besides all of that, watching a big grown up making “mistakes” just flat out cracks kids up!
• Due to the nature of the disaster, the physical locations and settings of schools (daycare through High School) vary dramatically. The Smile Ambassadors adapt each visit to fit the locationʼs specific needs and circumstances. For example, broader shows that incorporate basic English are appropriate at Elementary and Jr High Schools whereas Toned down shows featuring puppets and music are often best for younger, more affected or reserved children.
Smile Ambassador Tour Program
Greater Tohoku Region with a focus on Iwate Prefecture: specifically the Ofunato and Otsuchi School districts.
Ongoing since April 2011 and continuing on through the recovery period and beyond…
Long-term mental and emotional wellbeing are key issues that the Circus Playtime and Follow Up elements of the program address.