Social Responsibility News

2021 charity donation beneficiary: The Theodora Foundation

Posted on by Congenius

As the saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine”. With this firmly in mind, the Theodora Foundation charity works to spark moments of joy and laughter amongst children who are undergoing a hospital stay in Switzerland.

A child’s extended time in hospital can be difficult and frightening. The charity’s co-founder André Poulie found himself in such a position as a youngster whilst spending several months in hospital after an accident. His mother, Théodora, visited him regularly, bringing happiness and variety to his daily hospital routine. Inspired by this experience, and in memory of their mother, André and his brother Jan Poulie founded the Theodora Foundation in 1993.

Their initial concept is delightfully simple – the foundation’s “Giggle Doctors” visit children in hospitals and specialised institutions every week, playing and improvising to provide entertainment. Working in close cooperation with doctors and nursing staff, the artists tailor their cheerful games to cater for the needs of each individual child, allowing the young patients to escape hospital life for a short while.

The “Giggle Doctors” are professional performers from a wide variety of backgrounds spanning music, magic, theatre, and the circus. They receive training from the Institut et Haute Ecole de la Santé La Source to enable them to practice their art whilst considering the specificities of the hospital and institutional environment. They are also required to undergo continuous training which encompasses the artistic, psychological and hospital-based aspects of their activity.

As well as the “Giggle Doctors”, there are four further programs that accommodate different patient needs. “Mr & Mrs Dream” and the interactive musical initiative “Small Orchestra of the Senses” are both tailored for children with disabilities, and a support program for overweight children and adolescents has also been created.

Furthermore, in 2015, the Operation Support Program was introduced to provide cheerful reassurance immediately before and after medical procedures, with the artists transforming the ordeal of an operation into a soothing journey.

Since the idea was born in the paediatric department of the University Hospital Lausanne, the work of the Theodora Foundation has spread nationally, facilitating happy moments for thousands of children.

We are so pleased to be contributing to this wonderful organisation, supporting them in their mission to bring joy, variety, and laughter to young patients during a time when they need it the most.

For more information, and to make a donation, visit

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