“Damn everything but the circus!” ~ E. E. Cummings
The Kasikonda Youth Circus is an exciting program based in Namuwongo Kampala, and housed by the NGO I.S.P. in Africa. At Kasikonda, youth learn all types of circus skills: juggling, acrobatics, clowning… the works. The skills are only part of the education. The true beauty lies within the life lessons which the participants master. Occasionally in circus, someone’s life can literally be in another person’s hands. This forces participants to learn trust, communication, and cooperation. It is the goal of Kasikonda that youth will take these fundamental lessons, and use them in every day life.
According to Cirque du Soleil™:
Social Circus is a way of approaching social problems derived from an innovative fusion between circus arts and social intervention. By demanding tenacity, perseverance and discipline, social circus empowers participants to use their marginality to express themselves and establish a new relationship with a society that has often excluded them… it constitutes a real tool for acquiring resilience because it is based on surpassing one’s goal, self-actualization resulting from one’s own strengths and capacities, collective cooperation and the guidance of responsible adults. With an approach cantered on the circus arts and social intervention, social circus acts as a powerful agent of social transformation.
The most exciting element of the program is, of course, its performances. The Kasikonda audience is primarily pediatric wards at hospitals, which both provides a welcome respite for sick children, and gives the youth a chance to perform. These dual goals embrace an additional educational purpose. Performance by its very nature is simply people being amazed by what you can do. This leads to building of self-esteem and confidence, another important life lesson. It is the Kasikonda goal to project that confidence onto the patients comprising the audience, who frequently have damaged self-esteem, due to sickness or the occasional feeling that they are being treated as their disease as opposed to a person with an illness.
The Kasikonda Youth Circus is constantly looking for growth and new participants… and welcomes your questions, inquiries and support.