My name is June Fukumura, I am a 22 year old, 4th year Theatre Performance Major and a Sustainability and Community Development certificate undergrad at Simon Fraser University. This summer, I am going on a 12 day humanitarian clown trip to Iquitos, Peru with The Belen Project and I need your help to get there!
Since 2006, The Belen Project has been aiding the rural community of Belen located on the outskirts of Iquitos, Peru. The majority live in extreme poverty, without electricity, clean water or sanitation. It is by far one of the most distressed communities in the country.
Now, you may be wondering, why would they need clowns when they don’t even have clean water? Well, each year the project sends over 100 volunteer clowns to perform in hospitals, prisons, hospices, and on the streets. The performances are themed around sensitive issues such as sexual health and disease prevention but the clowns are able to engage the audience through fun, spontaneous play. The clowns also facilitate free workshops in dance, music, and drama, and help paint houses and murals bringing life and colour to the barren landscape. Over the years, they have been enhancing physical, social, and human capital and as a result, Belen is slowly but surely becoming a more resilient community. The clowns are utilizing the power of creativity and imagination to help the community envision positive changes in their lives.
After 4 years of comprehensive theatre training, I have come to the realization that this is the kind of work I want to do for life; art for a social purpose. For the longest time I wondered if there was such a thing that combined all of my passions: humanitarian aid, sustainability, travelling, childcare, and of course, performance. And when I found out about this opportunity, I couldn’t believe how perfect it was! This opportunity is everything that I could wish for.
I’m completely ecstatic and thrilled to jump in with both feet. I want to help others through performance. And I believe that clowning has the power to transcend language and cultural barriers; to revitalize the human spirit in ways that other forms cannot. So even if it’s just for 12 days, I want to immerse myself in the culture, learn as much as I can, and give everything that I can give to the community of Belen.
HERE'S WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING:
Program fee - $1681.35
-12 night stay in a hotel
-Transportation to and from the airport
-All clowning workshops during the festival
Lunch/Dinner for 12 days - $250
Return Air Fare - $1300
In total, this trip will cost me about $3200 CDS.
My goal on Indiegogo is $2800 (this includes the additional $100 that Indiegogo will take if I reach my goal) and $500 I will be saving on my own. If by chance, I don't make this goal, I will still collect the funds that I do get and put it towards this trip! I am SO determined to make this trip come true I will make it happen some how!
PERKS! PERKS! PERKS!
In addition to the biggest ‘thank-you’ from the bottom of my heart, any one who donates
$5 or more will get a cartwheel + a hi-five
$10 or more will receive a hand written thank you card snail mailed to you
$25 or more will receive a thank you letter and a dozen home made cookies
and higher level donations could receive one of the following:
your very own hand made mini-clown mask + a dozen cookies
a photo of Belen + a hand made artwork from Belen
a memorabilia + a Skype call from Belen
a home made sushi dinner for you and 3 friends
Since they started in 2006 The Belen Project has gained momentum and has now expanded into a wider network, called “Red por Belen”(the Belen Network) and now includes the District City Hall of Belén, local and regional governments, the Regional Health Bureau (DIRESA), Pregnancy Education United Services of Peru (UGEL), The Wawa Wasi Program- Ministry of Women and Social Development (MIMDES), Municipal Defence of Child and Adolescents (DEMUNA) and various other organizations. Your contribution is helping The Belen Network gain even more momentum to expand free healthcare, community outreach programs, and continuing to show the families in Belen that there are people who do care about them.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
If you are able to donate today, I would like to thank you so much for getting me one step closer. But even if you aren’t able to donate money, that’s okay! By reading this and sharing this page you are also helping me in a big way! The more people know the more people can help! So please share this link on your Facebook or other social media sites, and visit my Facebook page and follow me along on this incredible journey!