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Family Magic for Refugee Week
16th April 2021
cropped-Mishwar - Syrians - Lebaon 12 Mar 2021 copy

Magic for Smiles (MFS) was piloted in early 2016 in Lebanon and set up as a charity in 2019 by the long term humanitarian and magician of 30 years, Jamie Balfour-Paul (stage name Jamie Jibberish due to the extensive use of his magic language). MFS is based in Oxford UK and promotes humanitarian magic – that is magic shows and magic tuition sessions in Arabic or English as a tool for the wellbeing and psychosocial support for vulnerable children and families.

The initiative mainly works with the refugee population in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon but also the UK. The age range is usually 6-12 but flexible and 9 or above for tuition sessions.

The impact can be emotional (joy, hope, happiness, sense of wonder, stress-relief), cognitive (concentration, analysis, imagination) and social (interaction, trust-building, self-confidence, friendship). These interventions can be one-off or preferably repeated and work online as they have been doing during COVID as well as offline.

Jamie Balfour-Paul says:

“For Refugee Week in June 2021 we would very much like to offer our services – to other organisations working with refugees in the UK and elsewhere – doing shows or workshops online or offline. Collaboration can be free, though we largely depend on donations which are therefore welcome.”

For more information, contact Jamie at


Media coverage: 

BBC South Today