Medical clowns heal broken souls of Ukrainian refugees

Reut Schiffman Soref, aka Zaza the Dream Doctor, watches a Ukrainian woman try to put her month old to sleep in a shelter full of other refugees.

At the red nose spot, Zaza approached and looked into the mother’s eyes with a tacit request for permission and gently touched the baby’s little leg.

Maintaining eye contact, Zaza caressed the baby until the mother felt safe. They do not speak the same language, but they did not need to exchange a single word.

“Slowly mom took her hand off and let me carry the baby,” Zaza tells ISRAEL21c.

“I sang her songs that my grandmother taught me. I put her to sleep, and then I even started massaging her mom’s feet to help her relax.”

Zaza was one of four Dream Doctors with a week-long Israeli medical mission that assisted more than 2,000 refugees in seven shelters in Chisinau, Moldova and across the Moldova-Ukraine border. Now there are three teams on the field.

About 350,000 Ukrainian refugees – mainly women and children – have immigrated to Moldova since Russia’s invasion on 24 February. His current situation is a nightmare and his future is uncertain.

An Israeli medical clown consoles a displaced Ukrainian asylum in a Moldovan stadium.
Courtesy of Dream Doctors

Dream doctors Zaza, Zoya, Vitaly and Gad try to put a smile on the faces of these tired, frightened displaced Ukrainians.

But Therapeutic Clown isn’t just fun and games. This is a serious, innovative approach to trauma intervention.

“People think we only joke with patients, but sometimes they don’t need us to make them laugh. They need us to see them, to calm them down,” says Zaza, who works at the Share Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. need.”

When Zaza met the same mother with her newborn and their older children the next day, they immediately ran to her.

“Again I took the baby and put her to sleep. Holding her gave her mom and I a moment of peace in the storm—it works both ways. It was such a difficult scene, and a new baby was a source of life and hope.” symbol.”

moments of conscience

Dream Doctor In Ukraine
Rut Schiffman Soref, aka Zaza the Dream Doctor, places a one-month-old baby at a Moldovan shelter for Ukrainian refugees.
Courtesy of Zazai

“Our job here is to reduce anxiety and fear, if only for a few minutes. Those moments of joy bring back hope and sanity in this otherwise chaotic time,” explains Dream Doctors CEO Sour Sriki.

“In freezing temperatures, many Ukrainians are arriving without gloves and other warm items of clothing, in the arms of children with nowhere else to go. For a mother, watching her child laugh and play is the way forward to a better life. Gives you the strength to grow.”

Dream Doctors are an integral part of the medical teams in 34 hospitals across Israel. Shriki says he has extensive experience working in humanitarian relief missions around the world.

His aid abroad is often in collaboration with the Israel Defense Forces and this time in collaboration with Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and charitable foundations including Laymanam: Physicians for Holocaust Survivors.

“Dream doctors have traveled to disaster areas NepalHaiti, Uganda, Ethiopia and piece of paperamong others,” says Shriki.

They were also in Houston after Hurricane Irma, Pittsburgh after shooting 2018’s Synagogue, and the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

“In 2018, Israel’s Foreign Ministry sponsored a unique training opportunity for Dream Doctors to train a team of Yazidis from Iraq – a group severely victimized by ISIS – in the art of medical clowns,” said Shriki. it is said.

Dream Doctor In Ukraine
Israeli medical clowns with Ukrainian refugee children in Moldova.
Courtesy of Dream Doctors

‘They don’t want mercy’

Some Dream Doctors in Moldova speak Ukrainian; Doesn’t refresh. But 14 years as a dream doctor has made him a master of nonverbal communication.

During her week in Moldova, she admits, “Not speaking the language protects me a little because I can’t hear terrible stories. I just work with my body and my mind.”

She sees the look of utter loss in the eyes of the refugees, many of whom were forced to leave their husbands, sons and brothers in the war zone and travel for several hours or even several days.

“They’re in emotional distress. But they don’t want pity — they want encouragement that they are strong and will be fine,” Zaza says.

Dream Doctor In Ukraine
An Israeli medical clown cheers on an elderly Ukrainian refugee in Moldova.
Courtesy of Dream Doctors

However, despite her professional experience, Zaza said she nearly broke it to encounter elderly Ukrainians in refugee shelters, among them Holocaust survivors.

In a poem written in Hebrew on his Facebook page, Zaza described how these elderly refugees “packed the rest of their lives in a suitcase, sitting and waiting for the next instruction, tears welled up in their eyes.” There is pain and doom.”

In this heartbreaking space, she says, “We all work together as a team and support each other. We try to give refugees a little moment of calm and relief. , to release endorphins, even to allow them to laugh.”

produced in collaboration with ISRAEL21c,

This story was provided to Greeley Tribune zengar news,

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