Circo Social: young people’s growth through circus

ALEJANDRA JIMÉNEZ CASTRO //
El Circo del Mundo //
Santiago //
July 12th 2017 //

I met Alejandra and her team at their space in a community called Pajaritos in the east of the city of Santiago. They are a social enterprise who create and perform circus shows, funding a social outreach programme which trains young people in self-confidence, self-esteem and self-determination.

They have been working for 22 years, and they describe themselves as working in 3 main areas:
1 – Social change and education
2 – A professional school for circus training
3 – A production company

As part of their Circo Social (social circus) programme they worked on a initiative called Cuerda Fuerte (strong rope) with a collective or circus based organisations. This programme was about strengthening young people’s social and personal skills, using circus training as a base.

“Circus is at the heart of the social change”

The skills they aim to develop are: Working as a team, perseverance, creativity, autonomy, prosocial behaviours. They work directly with schools, with pre-exisiting groups, the young people are not self-selecting. The curriculum is integrated with the schools exisiting activities.

They believe the skills they develop in these young people boost their chances of getting into work after college. During the programme 76% of the students found further employment. Although I am not sure on the baseline comparison to this.

“These young people often have no motivation, they don’t find anything interesting… increasing their motivation and enthusiasm for life is part of our work”

 

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