There have always been refugees. Most refugees find shelter in neighboring - oftentimes poor - countries. Relatively few refugees seek asylum in Europe.
In the Netherlands there are about 50 regular and temporary centers for asylum seekers. About 22,000 people live in those centres. Of these, 7,500 are children up to the age of 19, These are the target group for the Wolkentheater.
According to research done by Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland (the Dutch Refuge Council), about half of all children suffered violence in their home countries.
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Wolkentheater was founded on Valentine's Day 1993 by a number of artists who came to the Netherlands from various parts of war-torn former Yugoslavia. The theatre presents puppet shows for children in Dutch asylum-seeker centres. The stories presented are based on fairy tales from different cultures. In this way the foundation hopes encourage the children, to increase enthusiasm and involvement among their supervisors, and to create a more nuanced understanding of the refugee problem in the Netherlands.
The various productions of Wolkentheater have been well-received by audiences young and old and praised in the Dutch national media.
All performances of Wolkentheater - there are about 50 per year - are free of charge. The foundation is not supported by structural grants. It receives donations from several Dutch foundations.