a super pedagogy for personal and social development
Our Social Circus is developed mainly for disadvantaged children and youth where all the other pedagogies, training's and trauma therapies fail. Although the name ”Social Circus” is often used to describe the pedagogy, but we find the adjective “Social-Circusly”, which focuses on how the activities are implemented rather than what the activities are, better describes our methods and practice.
The activities themselves can be anything from physical arts, challenging athletic and technical skills and social games to to even singing and painting together. Doing them “Social Circusly” requires implementing them in a way that stimulates and creates joy, amusement and astonishment, in a socially interactive and harmonious way, which leads to personal and social development.
strong bounds and sophisticated social identities
The teams of our children and youth are built on the passion for discovering and developing their individual resources and contributing to their collective work of changing the world around them. The teams are mainly performers but also producers of radio programs, photo, children assemblies and activism, parkour, etc. They each individually strive for progress and compete but also share and develop together and become so full of joy when they perform and accomplish success in their communities.
It is difficult to be anything or anyone positive in the war, but the identity developed among the members of our children teams make them pioneers of a culture and revolution of hope and joy. The teams in a way become celebrities and gain very high social status.
an educational supplement more essential than the formal education itself
In partnership with Ministry of Education in Afghanistan since 2002 we have performed educational shows for 3.8 million children in 28 provinces. Formal education is naturally very important but it does not teach the children how to be happy, how and why to laugh and be creative, amazed, fascinated and most of all hope and dream big. These are specially much more important in a country of war where children are exposed to depression and traumas.
The school shows are performed with our children teams either after or before their owns school shifts. Each region has their own children teams who simultaneously and independently make their shows. In average the performances reaches 120,000 children audience in different provinces per year and beside pure fun contain life skill educations such as landmine awareness and peace education etc.
national wake up call for peace by true antidote of war "laughter"
This is not just another entertainment when it is in the gray sad war turned countries suffering traumas and depression. This is a national annual call for peace, refreshing memories of people and media with what life should and could be about, "joy and fun".
Festivals are messengers of peace, it makes many adults to smile and laugh again after long time and start to see the world and specially their own children in a different way.
Many children and youth both the performers and audience wait and look for the festivals for the entire year. It brings best of the artists from the provinces to rehears together and make their best of performances. We utilize all the national and international media to bring as much exposure and attention to it as possible. This by itself is a practical child advocacy and protecting children rights of being happy regardless of adults wars.
TAPPING INTO UNLIMITED RESOURCES OF YOUTH
- Taban is a system of network and working structure that supports and connects some of the best and most active children and youth in practicing and organizing Social Circus activities for many more children.
- The Taban system supports these children to make activities with children in their own areas.
- The Taban system is a very effective way of supporting children and youngsters to start and organize social circus activities. The system is now being copied to all AECC’s regions in Afghanistan.
- The Taban team is a group of children and youth from 11 IDP camps in Kabul who have been trained in social circus and life skills by AECC and MMCC’s supervision for some time.
Promoting a Culture of Peace
It is definitely not about the final winner and becoming the champion is not the ultimate destination or the purpose of the competitions. This is about everybody, collective development, solidarity, tolerance, discovering, enjoying, admiring and appreciating each other’s abilities and learn from each other. These competitions designed to fascinate, inspire and encourage the children and youth to dare and join and increase their self-confidence. Winners and losers all equally learn that they can decide and they can do it as much as they try and also they learn from the failure to prepare better and do it again.
We have many different local and national competitions, among them all the IJA's Regional Championship is the most popular.
Children train and practice for months to qualify themselves and the international masters from IJA (International Juggling Association) join us in Kabul for organizing the championship.
When education makes sense and brings joy
Entertainment is our main driving power to make children enthusiastic about learning while the knowledge itself is transformed to sensible experiences to be easier and better obtained. From solidarity
The traditional pedagogies are often passive, for example give a message of malaria prevention by a written text or a poster. Our approach is engaging children actively in the process of learning by power of entertainment and involving their senses and emotions with the problems and guide them to discover and own the solution.
Every physical art workshops and performances are developed with the same pedagogic principal, for example a human pyramid is to teach solidarity and a cable walking to increase self-confidence, and a pair juggling to practice team work and empathy.
Since 2002 MMCC has developed many edutainment tools for teaching different subjects to the children. MMCC has developed tools and transformed life skill subjects such as landmine education and social skills to personal development, school lessons and complex subjects such as topography to participatory joyful experiences.