Roll up, Roll up, for the social circus!
NSC News | Monday, 21 March 2016 |
Performers Without Borders (PWB),the UK social circus charity, are in Nicaragua on their fourth three month visit teaching circus skills to impoverished children and performing to thousands.
PWB helps the children build their confidence, explore their potential, and learn to work together.
Their local partner organisations are Asociación Niñas y Niños del Fortín, Proyecto Barrilete in León http://journeynicaragua.org/social-projects/proyecto-barrilete/; Los Quinchos in San Marcos http://www.losquinchos.it/progetti.php?language=eng and The School of Comedy and Mime in Granada http://www.equaleducationfund.ch/en/projects/nicaragua-school-of-comedy-and-mime/-
The team also perform at schools and community centres including at two schools with UK twinning links - Los Pollitos supported by the Islington Managua Friendship Association http://imfa.org.uk/ and Colegio Santa Rosa supported by the Tavistock-based Santa Rosa Fund. http://www.santarosafund.org/
This year NSC also arranged performances on the cancer ward at the Children’s Hospital La Mascota and at a celebration of Global Down Syndrome Day in Managua’s first inclusive school, Colegio Caminos. https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/
PWB team member Rachel says “Connection and attention is what we are here for. Part of the aim of the project is to give these kids some fun and games that most children take for granted as part of their childhood. Research has shown how play benefits not just the physical, but emotional, social and cognitive development of children, and we use social circus to address this. Our workshops include focused lessons and games, as well as free play with the circus props.”
"Learning these skills has been very important to me and has helped me stay away from bad things and a bad path, which has been hard for me. I like to do circus, unicycle and juggling... it's great fun to learn... really great". 15 year old Pablo Gemelo, Los Quinchos, San Marcos
This year’s international team of volunteers are: Rachel (Australia); Jake and Andy (Swindon and Cambridge); Aileen, Juniper and Alex (USA); Racheli (Israel); and Cesar (Nicaragua). Their circus skills include slack-rope, juggling, hat manipulation, flow wand, poi, unicycle, hula hoop, clowning, and balloon twisting.
Since last year’s tour PWB has been funding a local group to continue teaching circus skills with their partner organisations in between tours. The group, El Nido de las Artes from Estelí , https://www.facebook.com/ColectivoElNidoDeLasArtes trained with PWB and now run their own social circus project.
PWB also work in India and Kenya.