‘Olive’ and ‘Yoyo’ with Israel Ambassador David Saranga at MagiCAMP in Romania. (Courtesy via ISRAEL21c) (Courtesy via ISRAEL21c)
Medical clowns

‘Olive’ and ‘Yoyo’ travel to MagiCAMP in Romania to help put smiles on the faces of children facing life-threatening illness.

By Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21c

When Israeli Ambassador to Romania David Saranga visited MagiCAMP, a summer camp for kids with cancer in the city of Brănești, he had a great idea: to arrange for two of Israel’s Dream Doctors professional therapeutic clowns to work their own magic at MagiCAMP for a few days.

“Olive” (Iris Leah Sofer) from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and “Yoyo” (Yuval Ben-Eli) from Bnai Zion and Carmel medical centers in Haifa answered the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s call to help put smiles on kids’ faces at the Romanian camp.

“The MagiCAMP Village was an extraordinary experience with amazing people and children. We very quickly fell in love with them,” Yoyo texted in a message to Dream Doctors, headquartered in Tel Aviv.

About 100 Dream Doctors work in 29 Israeli hospitals and often travel to areas across the world where they assist healthcare personnel in treating disaster victims and/or train local staff in techniques of medical clowning.

During their three days in Romania, Olive and Yoyo also visited hospitals with Saranga’s team. “The reactions have been amazing,” reported Aviram Blumenkrantz, Dream Doctors project coordinator.

“As an ambassador, I sit in the office all day at the embassy. I said, ‘We want to do something different, to see how to make the world better.’ That’s how we took this initiative,” Saranga told the local press. “I took all my team from the embassy, all the diplomats and other people working for us, and we came here. The main goal is to bring a smile to the faces of children.”