Gesundheit Global Outreach & Humanitarian Clowning

Formed in 2006, Gesundheit Global Outreach (GGO) encompasses educational programs, clowning missions, humanitarian aid, building projects and community development around the world. The international service work of GGO complements Gesundheit's functions on the land in West Virginia, and Gesundheit's healthcare design and education outreach. The goal of Gesundheit Global Outreach is the improvement of health of individuals and communities in crisis from sickness, war, poverty and injustice.
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Educational Programs Around the World
Clowning Missions
Clown Trips Around the World
In its 40-year history, Gesundheit has offered care to tens of thousands, given workshops and lectures in over 65 countries, built and supported clinics, schools, and orphanages from El Salvador to Cambodia, and brought the joy of clowning to parts of the world damaged by violence and injustice.

Gesundheit's international service began in 1984 when Patch led a clown trip to the Soviet Union as an act of "nasal diplomacy." The original focus was volunteer bedside clowning in hospitals, and soon widened to include orphanages, schools, psychiatric facilities, nursing homes, and special needs facilities.
While the clown trips to Russia have continued every year with volunteer clowns from around the world, further clown trips have been added to touch the lives of people in over 60 countries on 6 continents.
Educational Programs
In Over 60 Countries Around the World
Read Patch's Blog
Check out the Building Campaign
Get Patchs Book!
The health of an individual is linked to the health of that individual's family, community, and society. The links between population health, the health of individuals, and political, economic and cultural systems are becoming better understood. GGO embraces the idea that sustainable, responsible and harmonious social change must be grounded in the individual realities of people everywhere, and, at the same time, individual change must be the basis for meaningful social change. In other words, for the society to change, a person (each of us) must change, and for a person to change, the society must change. GGO grounds its efforts in the cultivation of friendships through play, music, and silliness. By making friends in the context of fun, play, and sharing, partnerships can flourish enabling grassroots volunteer projects addressing health, education, and living conditions.

We work closely with community members, seeking understanding which can guide more responsible and precise helping gestures. In clowning, we lovingly disturb the status quo and facilitate creative social change, enabling dialog between those with power and those without (men/women, rich/poor, boss/worker, doctor/patient, prisoner/guard, etc). Through collaborative explorations of local issues and needs with community members, we offer assistance in community projects, and education in health care, political and economic policy.

The Russia clowning experience has led to the creation not only of Russian service organizations such as Maria's Children, but has also inspired the creation of hospital/humanitarian clowning organizations worldwide. In the mid 90's Gesundheit began clowning in other countries at the invitation of local medical, service, and clowning groups. Trips to Afghanistan, the Balkans, China, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Israel and the occupied territories were the settings where we developed our clowning service into a coherent response to suffering, need and crisis. Clown groups in Italy and Peru are among the many clowning groups closely affiliated with Gesundheit! Institute.
If, for whatever reason you prefer to support our work in ways other than participating directly in a mission, we accept tax-deductible donations for our projects. You can earmark where you want your money to go (support a clown scholarship for needy volunteer clowns, support building medical clinics, provide humanitarian aid, support specific community development projects, micro-credit loans for so called "3rd world" women entrepreneurs, scholarships for needy children in developing countries). GGO sponsors 6-8 overseas mission trips per year, most recently Russia, Haiti, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela. Future missions are scheduled for Peru and Romania. Announcements of future trips will be posted on our website. If you are interested in being a supporter or participant in Gesundheit! Global Outreach, please contact Kate Slaymaker. Click Below to Find Out More!
Community Development
Humanitarian Crisis Response
GGO & You