Laughter Is the Best Medicine

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK When you are sick, it is said that laughter is as good as medicine. It is in view of this that a non-profit organization, Clinic Clowns Namibia, is voluntarily putting smiles on sick children’s faces in different hospitals and clinics in the capital. Howevr, funding is difficult to come by. But yesterday, the organization received a welcome boost of N$4ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 500 from Alexander Forbes Financial Services in Windhoek. Although next week, Monday 16 October, is known as ‘Bosses Day’ where flowers and gift parcels are handed to senior managers in the business community, Alexander Forbes Financial Services Management thought of sacrificing that day by making children in hospital happy instead with this latest donation. “We have put a twist to the old tale. As part of the company’s social responsibility drive, a donation of N$4ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 500 was made to Clinic Clowns Namibia to purchase heart-shaped stress balls,” said Managing Director of Alexander Forbes Financial Services, Neels Claassen, at the hand-over ceremony yesterday. He added that this was one way of the “bosses sacrificing their boss’s day” for the sake of sick children. So far, 350 red, heart-shaped stress balls have been bought with the funding and will be handed as gifts to children in hospital by the entertaining clowns of Clinic Clowns Namibia. ” It is all about fun and laughter, and it’s really a wonderful experience for the sick children. We even make fun of the doctors and nurses in the ward, and the children love it,” said Founder of the Clinic Clowns Namibia, Doris Meyer. Five local hospitals in the capital will benefit from the initiative when Clinic Clown volunteers will hand out the hearts to patients during their visits to Medi-Clinic, Roman Catholic Hospital, Rhino Park Hospital, Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura State Hospital. “We don’t always give gifts to every child but, with the hearts, every child wants the same thing. I think the hearts are also sensible, tangible gifts and there’s no need to buy cheap toys that can break easily,” said Doris. In most cases, children in hospital need some kind of comic relief and laughter to help them to temporarily forget about their sickness. Making laughter and fun is a good medicine for a speedy recovery. “By spreading colour, magic and humour, the patient has the opportunity to escape and experience momentary relief, simultaneously boosting the immune system,” she added. Since there are currently only five volunteer clowns in the organization, more are still needed. The long-term plan is to train more people in this field who can later do similar voluntary work in their respective communities. As a non-profit organization established in November last year, Clinic Clowns Namibia continually strives to spread smiles and laughter through the services of care-clowning. It further shows its circus and theatrical skills by focusing mainly on the hospital environment. Early this year, Namibia Health Plan (NHP) also donated a cheque of N$75ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 to the organization to enable it to carry out its inspirational work.