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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.



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. 

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.


NICA Stays With Swinburne

Many of you, particularly our members and friends in Australia, will be aware that NICA, the National Institute of Circus Arts, has been in the news recently.

Plans for NICA to become independent of its founding parent – Swinburne University of Technology – were abruptly abandoned at the end of June with a statement from Swinburne University of Technology that said: “Swinburne University of Technology will continue to be the home for circus arts offered through the National Institute of Circus Arts, following a decision that NICA will no longer pursue activities to become an independent performing arts training organisation.”

Since early 2012, NICA, which was founded by Swinburne in 1999, has been working with the university on an exit strategy that would have seen Australia’s only world-class circus training institution become an independent entity in July this year. Swinburne, however, on June 25 announced that it no longer supported the separation and said that “NICA was not yet in a position to become independent” and that it would directly manage NICA from July 1. The same day, a new Director/CEO was introduced at NICA, replacing the institutes former Director/CEO, Pamela Creed, whose contract expired on June 30 and was not renewed.

Following Swinburne’s initial statement NICA’s Board of Director’s released their own statement:

…we were shocked to be advised that SUT has announced that they have ceased all action regarding independence and now propose an alternative course of action to directly manage NICA.

SUT have not indicated in any detail what their alternative plan is.
The independent Directors were not consulted, nor consented to, the proposed course of action that SUT is unilaterally seeking to impose on NICA.

Directors believe that SUT should resume negotiations to enable an independent NICA to be achieved.

The abrupt change to plans and the removal of NICA’s now former Director/CEO has been met with resistance and concern from many in the circus community, who also have a myriad of questions about the future of NICA. The apparent anxiety over the matter is most likely what prompted Professor Linda Kristjanson, Vice-Chancellor and President at Swinburne University of Technology, to publish an open letter about the university’s decision on its website:

NICA was established by Swinburne in 1999 and has been associated with Swinburne ever since. For the last year, Swinburne has been working closely with NICA with the aim of achieving independence for the institute by July this year.

Despite some encouraging progress, Swinburne took the view that NICA was not yet in a position to achieve full independence. Having nurtured NICA for the past fourteen years, it would not have been responsible for Swinburne to allow NICA to strike out on its own, only to see it fail if it was not yet ready…

NICA students are and have always been Swinburne students. They graduate with a Swinburne qualification and go on to great success as circus performers around the world.

NICA’s signature program, the Bachelor of Circus Arts, will continue to be available and auditions will be held for the next generation of aspiring performers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne from September this year.


For more information, see:

July 5: Open Letter to Community Regarding NICA by Professor Linda Kristjanson, Vice-Chancellor and President, Swinburne University of Technology

July 4: Head Over Heals for the Big Top, The Age

June 26: NICA Director’s Shocked as Independence Plan Scuppered, artsHub

June 25: NICA’s Freedom Denied in Swinburne Backflip, The Weekly Review

June 25: Statement by NICA’s Board of Directors

June 25: Swinburne Remains Home of Circus Arts

Save NICA campaign

Extended Reading

March 14, 2013: Commonwealth Support for Circus Arts (Press Release from Swinburne)

November 2012: NICA Circus Showcase, photo gallery by the Peninsula weekly

March 2012: An interview with Pamela Creed by artsHub

July 2012: Circus School Juggles Swinburne Split by The Age

The NICA story