The goal of our "Smile of Hope" program, which takes place at various local hospitals, is to bring laughter and cheer to the young patients.
Over 50 times during this past year, two of our young volunteers have dressed up in clown garb and visited the children's ward of a nearby hospital. Every week these teenagers, Katrina and Vesna, would prepare a small show, while applying clown make-up and then dressing up in their bright and gaudy outfits. Their purpose: To cheer up these young cancer patients and bring some joy and hope into these kids' lives. Every week the young ones would impatiently await their arrival.
It was an unassuming role and the girls would sometimes wonder just how much effect they were having. Of course the kids always enjoyed their visits, and they got quite close to them, as well as some of their parents.
During the course of the year, photos were taken of these activities and submitted to the UN for the 2001 tapestry celebrating the International Year of Volunteers (IYV). We were honored to be approached by the UN which had selected the photo (shown at top right) from amongst thousands, requesting permission to use it as one of the main photos for the TV promotion of the IYV! This photo was published worldwide, with reference made to our work here, as well as our link to Family Care Foundation.
Letter of Recommendation from the United Nations Development Program