Elvo the Clown is bringing smiles back to the tsunami-hit province of Aceh.
Elvo, alias New Zealander Aaron Ward, arrived in Indonesia over two weeks ago. And, as youngsters giggle at his madcap antics, it is clear he is making a difference. More than 120,000 people are confirmed dead in Aceh and in the adjacent province of Northern Sumatra, as a result of the tsunami.
Tens of thousands more are missing.
In the aftermath, the 30-year-old funnyman aims to provide brief but meaningful comfort to those who have suffered so much.
“It is all part of grief and healing. Being able to laugh again, being able to play again,” he said.
“So often we are in these situations and you just can’t laugh, you can’t play, because you are feeling so bad about the situation.”
It is not the first time that Elvo has worked his magic for children caught up in a crisis. Six years ago he brought smiles to youngsters in the Balkans at a camp for Albanian refugees.