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The Tidal Wave of #SocialCircusday

On Saturday, April 2, 2016, something magical happened. Fifty-nine organizations and individuals from 32 countries across ALL continents on Earth worked together to create a tidal wave of joy and happiness. They celebrated the joy of social circus in local communities across the world through various ways.

The day would forever be remembered as the first ever #SocialCircusDay.

The celebration took place everywhere, from the east to the west, from the north to the south. Saturday morning came first in Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun. Our friends from Spin Matsuri held a fun circus workshop for the rural kids in Chiba prefecture. “I had a good ‪#‎SocialCircusDay‬. So many happy faces, so much movement, so much awesome support from friends and neighbors”, said Kristen “Tick” McQuillin, the Ringmaster of Spin Matsuri. As you can see in the photo below, they had a lot of fun and laughter.

In mere hours, the fun spread to Australia. In Albury, New South Wales, Flying Fruit Fly Circus invited local kids to meet the cast of their performance shows. In nearby Fairy Meadow in Wollongong, Social Circus had a morning tea session where people can come, watch circus performance, and discuss on how circus can help youth at risk, special needs group, homeless and hungry people, refugees, and anyone with no access to arts. Meanwhile, in St. Kilda, Victoria, TrainStation Dance and Fitness opened their studio for the public – especially newcomers interested in circus – free of charge, so everyone can feel the positive value of circus.

Moving northwest to Southeast Asia, where social circus has seen rapid growth in recent years. In Indonesia, Red Nose Foundation did a performance at an elementary school, giving motivation to the local students to dream big. Not far away in Krabi, Thailand, Balloon Circus gave an open workshop in a public park. Serious Fun Yangon of Myanmar also ran shows, workshops, and a photo exhibition to celebrate the day. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, Phare Ponleu Selpak reinvested in local culture by teaching circus and performing arts to the kids in slum areas. The celebration in PPS was joined by young circus artists from Indonesia and Afghanistan, who were in Cambodia for several weeks for a joint circus workshop to prepare for the Tini Tinou circus festival on April 28 – May 8.

These photos may have you believe that circus is all about silliness and laughter. While this is true, circus is also believed to have deep positive impacts in psychological trauma healing. Our buddies at the Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) in Afghanistan celebrated the day with local kids in refugee camps, injecting the atmosphere with much-needed laughter and levity.

Afghan MMCC’s celebration gained support from Europe. In Denmark, the Dansk MMCC held a street performance in Copenhagen city centre to support their Afghan colleagues. While in Luxembourg, 9-year-old Sophia opened a garden concert especially dedicated for the kids in Afghanistan. “I saw so many happy faces and smiling children. It also made me happy and smile and I wanted to collect money for this circus. I was thinking how can I do that,” Sophia said on her motivation to contribute for a good cause at such a young age.

Other European-based groups were also celebrating for good cause. In Helsinki, Finland, Sirkus Magenta held a show in a retirement home, while  Open Tsirkus Stage in Tallinn, Estonia, provided circus training for long-term unemployed adults. Circus celebrations with disadvantaged people were seen in Spain and Italy. Escola de Circ Saltimbanqui in Barcelona and Fondazione Uniti Per Crescere Insieme Onlus of Turin held circus performances and workshops for people with disabilities.

Celebrations also spread like fireworks in Africa. Circus Zambia in Lusaka celebrated the day with marginalized children in Chibolya Compound, bringing smiles to them. “Social circus is about using circus as a tool to bring social change. And that is exactly what we do in Chibolya…Building a place where you can run, jump, fly and land safely!!!” Circus Zambia posted on their Facebook page. In South Africa, ActionArte Foundation did a street parade, while Zip Zap circus made a visit to a farmland for a family day. Fekat Circus in Ethiopia also performed in a public space, while SENCIRK in Dakar, Senegal, gave a workshop at a street kids shelter. Across the sea from the continent, Aléa des Possibles visited public elementary school in Antananarivo, Madagascar, for free performances and workshops.

In North America, circus has been a mainstay in popular culture for decades and many groups in the United States and Canada joined the celebrations, big time!  Holistic Circus Therapy and Trapeze Texas, for example, provided circus class for their local communities free of charge. Circus Harmony performed in a museum and promoting a book “Watch Out for Flying Kids” that tells stories about how downtown high class and sub-urban slums can build a great team in Circus Harmony, as well as Jewish and Arabic do in Circus Galilee. Wise Fool in New Mexico held a street parade as a campaign against children abuse, while Seattle’s SANCA made a circus flash mob!

Moving south to the Latin world, festive celebrations took place all around. In Puerto Rico, Educare’s Circus School invited the parents of their circus students to enjoy the laughter of circus. Circo Social Cuenca that uses circus to teach soft skills also celebrated with their kids. Bigote de Gato in Peru held a public show and workshop. In El Salvador, Sombrila Arte y Circo Social held a massive performing art celebration in the city hall, brought smiles and laughter to thousands eyewitnesses, and flooding the #SocialCircusDay hashtag in social media!

In total, social media websites were flooded by over 550 postings marked with “#SocialCircusDay” from 35 countries. There were also countless other unmarked postings showing Social Circus Day celebrations across the globe. For the first celebration, this is great! All participants have successfully brought joy and laughter to thousands of communities around the world. Through #SocialCircusDay, circus artists and enthusiasts everywhere celebrated the positive impacts of social circus in empowering local communities. In the end, this is what #SocialCircusDay is all about.

Next year, the celebration will come again, in bigger, louder, and more colorful ways. See you next year!

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Social Circus Organizations Across Asia Wants You!

ASCA seeks qualified circus performers to join three of its members as volunteer for 12 months!

One of the needs most often voiced by ASCA member organizations are qualified volunteers – individuals highly trained in the techniques and arts of circus and is willing to take a plunge into the world of deprived communities in the Third World to help them build dreams.

If you think you can answer this need, apply to our volunteer program and have a 12-month volunteering trip across three social circus organizations in Asia: Red Nose Foundation (Indonesia), Phare Ponleu Selpak (Cambodia), and Mobile Mini Circus for Children (Afghanistan)!

In order to be able to participate in this program, applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years or older.
  2. Be a professional circus artist / teacher.
  3. Have five-year experience of working in circus-based organizations.
  4. Have five-year experience of working with children.
  5. Have strong passion, energy (mental and physical), and willingness to work in social circus causes.
  6. Have strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with and respect for diversity.
  7. Be enthusiastic and willing to learn about the role of social circus in peace and development.
  8. Be willing to take a plunge into the environment of Third World underprivileged communities, which can be a little harsh.
  9. Have internet proficiency as well as proficiency in MS Word or other word processor software (volunteers are required to write about their experiences periodically for the ASCA Blog).
  10. Experience in volunteering a strong asset.
  11. Experience in non – formal education an asset.

 

Expenses:

During the volunteer program, ASCA will cover the following expenses:

  • Room & board (with a minimum standard of comfort)
  • Local transportation
  • 3 (three) meals per day or an equivalent stipend
  • Monthly stipend based on each country’s standard minimum wage

Volunteers will be responsible for:

  • International travel expenses, approx. $2,200 – $2,600 (depends on the volunteers’ domicile) for 1 year worth of travelling
  • Required vaccinations
  • Visa expenses

 

REGISTER NOW! Download this form, complete it, and send it to asca@rednosefoundation.org!

ASCA Volunteer Application Form – Fill In Text

ASCA Volunteer Program – Terms of Reference

Volunteers who pass the selection process will be subject to rigorous background check.

Program will begin in first half of 2015!

Calling for Volunteers for ASCA’s Volunteer Program!

Are you an experienced professional circus artist/teacher with a mastery of specific circus skills?

Are you interested in taking a year-long trek to three developing countries across Asia?

Are you passionate and energetic enough to use your circus skills to spread joy and levity to underprivileged and at-risk communities?

Then apply to ASCA’s Volunteer Program!

Have a 12-month volunteering trip across Asia and gain indelible memories, unforgettable experiences, and life-long friends along the way!

The volunteer program will begin in the first half of 2015!

In this program, volunteers will be able to work with RED NOSE FOUNDATION in Indonesia, PHARE PONLEU SELPAK in Cambodia, and MOBILE MINI CIRCUS FOR CHILDREN in Afghanistan!

In order to be able to participate in this program, applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years or older.
  2. Be a professional circus artist / teacher.
  3. Have five-year experience of working in circus-based organizations.
  4. Have five-year experience of working with children.
  5. Have strong passion, energy (mental and physical), and willingness to work in social circus causes.
  6. Have strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with and respect for diversity.
  7. Be enthusiastic and willing to learn about the role of social circus in peace and development.
  8. Be willing to take a plunge into the environment of Third World underprivileged communities, which can be a little harsh.
  9. Have internet proficiency as well as proficiency in MS Word or other word processor software (volunteers are required to write about their experiences periodically for the ASCA Blog).
  10. Experience in volunteering a strong asset.
  11. Experience in non – formal education an asset.

 

Expenses:

During the volunteer program, ASCA will cover the following expenses:

  • Room & board (with a minimum standard of comfort)
  • Local transportation
  • 3 (three) meals per day or an equivalent stipend
  • Monthly stipend based on each country’s standard minimum wage

Volunteers will be responsible for:

  • International travel expenses, approx. $2,200 – $2,600 (depends on the volunteers’ domicile) for 1 year worth of travelling
  • Required vaccinations
  • Visa expenses

 

APPLY NOW! Download the following form, complete it, and send it to asca@rednosefoundation.org!

ASCA Volunteer Application Form – Fill In Text

ASCA Volunteer Program – Terms of Reference

Volunteers who pass the selection process will be subject to rigorous background check. 

ASCA Volunteer Program is Open! Apply Now!

Ever wish to have a one-year trek across Asia while contributing your passion and energy to three worthy causes along the journey?

Apply to ASCA’s VOLUNTEER PROGRAM now and work with underprivileged communities in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Afghanistan!

Volunteers in this program will be able to work with these three social circus organizations:

  • Red Nose Foundation, in Jakarta – Indonesia (website)
  • Phare Ponleu Selpak, in Battambang – Cambodia (website)
  • Mobile Mini Circus for Children, in Kabul – Afghanistan (website)

Through social circus techniques, these organizations work with underprivileged and/or at-risk local communities to help them develop resilience, self-reliance, confidence, trust, and ultimately happiness and hope for a better future.

One of the needs most often voiced by ASCA member organizations are qualified volunteers – individuals highly trained in the techniques and arts of circus and is willing to take a plunge into the world of deprived communities in the Third World to help the inhabitants build dreams.

On the other hand, ASCA has often received e-mails from willing volunteers from across the globe who are facing difficulties in finding the right circus organizations in Asia where they can participate in worthy causes while also sharing their circus knowledge to spread joy to others.

Through this volunteer program, ASCA plans to connect the dot between these two groups (member organizations and willing volunteers) in the hope of building a stable network between people in the West and the East, the North and the South, so that together we are able to build a better world – using circus arts!

 

Expenses:

During the volunteer program, ASCA will cover the following expenses:

  • Room & board (with a minimum standard of comfort)
  • Local transportation
  • 3 (three) meals per day or an equivalent stipend
  • Monthly stipend based on each country’s standard minimum wage

Volunteers will be responsible for:

  • International travel expenses, approx. $2,200 – $2,600 (depends on the volunteers’ domicile) for 1 year worth of travelling
  • Required vaccinations
  • Visa expenses

 

Eligibility Requirement

In order to be able to participate in this program, applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years or older.
  2. Be a professional circus artist / teacher.
  3. Have five-year experience of working in circus-based organizations.
  4. Have five-year experience of working with children.
  5. Have strong passion, energy (mental and physical), and willingness to work in social circus causes.
  6. Have strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with and respect for diversity.
  7. Be enthusiastic and willing to learn about the role of social circus in peace and development.
  8. Be willing to take a plunge into the environment of Third World underprivileged communities, which can be a little harsh.
  9. Have internet proficiency as well as proficiency in MS Word or other word processor software (volunteers are required to write about their experiences periodically for the ASCA Blog).
  10. Experience in volunteering a strong asset.
  11. Experience in non – formal education an asset.

 

APPLY NOW! Complete the Application Form and send it to asca@rednosefoundation.org!

ASCA Volunteer Application Form – Fill In Text

ASCA Volunteer Program – Terms of Reference

Volunteers who pass the selection process will be subject to rigorous background check.

Program will begin in first half of 2015!

Help Phare Get a Permanent Home in Siem Reap!

Cambodian circus group Phare Ponleu Selpak, a member of ASCA, is doing a crowd-funding campaign to purchase a plot of land for its permanent home in Siem Reap!

Visit their crowd-funding page here and join the campaign!

Since February 2013, Phare artists have come to Siem Reap and astonished audiences at nightly shows with their passion, emotion, enthusiasm, dedication and talent. They perform in an authentic, traditional red big top in the center of Siem Reap that seats over 300 people.

 

 

A permanent home means a secure, stable future

The big top in Siem Reap is on rented land, which means high cost and an uncertain future. Rent is increasing dramatically, terms are becoming difficult and rent contracts are easily broken. To provide a more secure, stable source of employment for the artists, Phare needs to purchase land for a permanent site. Owning our own land protects against cost increases, which means more income goes to the artists and to the children of the school.

Land prices in Siem Reap are astronomically high and increasing fast, as a result of booming tourism industry. As a modest social enterprise, we can’t compete with huge real-estate projects. In addition, we need well situated land in town, easily visible and accessible to tourists who only stay in town for a couple of days, but will cost a little bit more. With your help, a permanent site can be purchased and continued success and sustainability assured.

 

Phare Ponleu Selpak student

Photo: Quinn Ryan Mattingly

 

A permanent home means a secure, stable future

The big top in Siem Reap is on rented land, which means high cost and an uncertain future. Rent is increasing dramatically, terms are becoming difficult and rent contracts are easily broken. To provide a more secure, stable source of employment for the artists, Phare needs to purchase land for a permanent site. Owning our own land protects against cost increases, which means more income goes to the artists and to the children of the school.

 

You can help

Your gift means the difference between a more certain or uncertain future for these young Cambodian artists. A permanent site assures them stable, gainful employment through the viability of the social enterprise.  Any contribution large or small will bring them one step closer. Please donate today and share this page with your friends, family and co-workers. Please share the story on your blog, social media page and in personal emails to your network.

 

Tipping Point Goal: $50,000

Total Funding Goal: $200,000

 

Reaching our tipping point

US$ 50,000 will allow us to make the first payment on a permanent, secure home for the performance venue! The artists who pour so much of their passion, effort and emotion into their craft will have more certain job prospects and a brighter future. The money raised will be solely dedicated to buying the land. You can be sure that your donation will have maximum impact on artists and children throughout the organization.

 

Our total goal

The total cost of the land purchase and site construction will be slightly over US$500,000. The difference between donations received and total cost will be made up for by loans with interest. The less that has to be borrowed means more can go to those who need it the most; the artists, their families and the children educated by the organization.

Wanted: Volunteers in Afghanistan 

The Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) in Afghanistan is preparing a show called The Greatest Show in Afghanistan,  which will be held in September 2014.

The show is going to be a traveling circus show that will will bring joy and laughter to over 10,000 children in four provinces across Afghanistan. The kids have experienced enough war and the circus will surely be an inspiration to the whole country for making Afghanistan a happier place for children.

Preparation of the show includes putting together 20 of MMCC’s best circus artists and training them on various circus skills.

MMCC currently needs one to three volunteers to help them develop the show. They need either an individual or a team who could help put these 20 kids together with all their skills to make a spectacular show. The kids are very advanced in their skills but need help in making a story for the whole show and changing the performances from just athletic and technically strong to funny and amusing.

MMCC is able to cover all the food and accommodation in their center for volunteers taking part in this program.

To learn more about The Greatest Show in Afghanistan,  please click this link.

If you are interested in joining the program, please contact ASCA at asca@rednosefoundation.org

All volunteers to ASCA members organizations are subject to necessary background check and thorough interviews beforehand.

Help fund the “Greatest Show in Afghanistan”!

The wonderful Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) in Afghanistan is planning to hold The Greatest Show in Afghanistan in September and they need your help!

The show is going to be a traveling circus show that will will bring joy and laughter to over 10,000 children in four provinces across Afghanistan. The kids have experienced enough war and the circus will surely be an inspiration to the whole country for making Afghanistan a happier place for children.

The organization needs US$5,600 to cover the main expenses of the show, which is as follows:

Transport 2200 $
Food & Refreshment 1900 $
Accommodation 700  $
Additional props & costumes 800 $
Total 5600 $

 

MMCC has established a fundraising page at IndieGoGo, which you can visit at this link. So far they have raised US$3,550 and they need your help to reach the goal. Please help them bring happiness and inspiration to the children in war-torn Afghanistan.