Watch the report on Israel’s Channel 11 news (with English subtitles).

The Dream Doctors Project was honored to help a group of Yazidi refugees from northern Iraq travel to Israel to become the first people from their war-torn region to be trained in medical clowning.

The group of 5 students was brought, through the support of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Hadassah Hospital for a week-long intensive training with master teacher and veteran Dream Doctor David “Dush” Barashi.

They learned theoretical and treatment principles of medical clowning and had lots of hands-on experience with “Dush” and the medical clowning team at Hadassah, including Dream Doctors Fulla Falfulla, Shiri Dan Kirkasum, Maya Ben David, Nechama Perel and Amichay Azar. Seeing the Dream Doctors in action, meeting the medical and nursing staff, and working with child patients were the highlights of the program.

One participant said, “We gained superb techniques on how to really reach out to the kids, particularly when they are distressed, ill, and frightened. A child who receives special attention before undergoing surgery or other medical procedures will surely feel more protected, and will be able to forget, at least briefly, the ensuing pain or difficulty. We are grateful to everyone involved for making this possible — without which we would not be here.”