The Project

“Opening the Circus Tent – Social Circus for the Inclusion of Minority Groups” is a Strategic Partership  Erasmus + Programme for the Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices.

The project comes from the wish of our organizations to improve the quality of our interventions by learning from other organizations that are also working in the field of Roma communities and other Minority Groups through the tool of social circus. We are interested in meeting the characteristics of these different sites of Europe, our differences and similarities in the practices and pedagogical approaches.

Social Circus is an innovative non formal learning method for teaching different artistic, social and life skills, competences and values by leading circus workshops. We teach circus disciplines (juggling, balance, acrobatics, aerials, etc.) in a playful and creative way, putting them together in community performances with our participants.

Through our intervention youngsters not only practice circus, they also practice teamwork, solidarity, self-knowledge, cooperation, perseverance and critical thinking.

In each context, our organizations are working in the outskirts of the city of Alicante, Naples and Budapest, where youth are facing similar difficulties. In  each case there is a high risk of criminalization, early school leaving, violence, early pregnancy and drug use.

Nevertheless the 3 organizations involved have a lot to learn from each other:

Circo Corsaro leads a social circus school in Scampia, the poorest district of Naples, known by the strong presence of Camorra, where the organization is cooperating with a group of civil associations, active in the area.

In Hungary, the Hungarian Juggling Association is working in Pesterzsébet, one of the poorest districts of the city, in a Youth Center, in cooperation with the Child Protection Service of the Municipality.

Donyet Ardit is developing a strong social intervention in cooperation with local schools of the marginalized districts of the city (Zona Norte, Juan XXIII, Alicante) with mostly Roma and African originated ethnic population.

The 3 associations are working with different pedagogical approaches as well:

Hungary is focused in the Critical Pedagogy of Paulo Freire, a powerful pedagogical method for the empowerment of disadvantaged groups. In Italy Circo Corsaro focuses its attention on elements of contemporary pedagogy using among others, some elements of the Pedagogy of the Third Millennium; a modern pedagogical approach that facilitates people to adapt to the fast changing reality of our days. In Spain Donyet Ardit is working with circus and gender identity, to educate for gender equality through circus.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To share experiences, methods and good practises, to improve the quality of youth work and the impact of our social interventions.
  • The 3 European associations are working with similar tools (social circus) and similar social problems, but with different social contexts, different technique to reach the youth (by local schools, public services, civil society initiatives) and different   pedagogical approaches.
  • We believe that the differences between these organizations will foster the learning of new methods, skills and competences of our youth workers, while the similarities will make it possible to use the gained knowledge effectively back in our countries.
  • To give a European dimension to our work, and to make a European network where associations can grow and get stronger in innovation and cooperation.
  • By this cooperation we aim to create a training method for social circus youth workers, where we can effectively share our conclusions and results and have an impact on many other associations as well.
  • To improve the skills and competences of our professionals, and foster     their employability, through the international travels and all the activities of the project.
  • To promote innovative non formal education methods, especially the  different pedagogical approaches of social circus with minority communities. We spread the conclusions, practises and techniques in the field of youth work by organizing a training course for social     circus trainers of different organizations in our countries, to     contribute actively in the development of the quality of the European youth work.
  • Cooperate  in the social inclusion of minority youth, empower them and contras  their marginalization.
  • Raise awareness of youth workers and general public about the situation of marginalized youth and promote solidarity, and engagement of initiatives of social inclusion.

RESULTS THAT ARE EXPECTED TO REACH

  • Shared methods, experiences, innovative good practises of non formal     education, through the travels to each country and other activities of the project, with the aim of increasing the quality of our work and have a bigger impact in the social inclusion of the disadvantaged youth.
  • Collected and organized knowledge and experiences on good practises working with disadvantaged youngsters with social circus, which has been     shared by a training course with a wide range of organizations and     professionals of each country. As a result of it we see the professional dialogue and practise in the youth work field been enriched with new perspectives.
  • A strong network will be established between the partner organizations, with the aim of mutual learning, helping and developing future projects together.
  • Improved professional skills and competences of our youth workers, which they can implement successfully in their work in the local context.
  • Better employability of our youth workers and trainers in the field of social work and social circus with the gained experiences, skills and competences.
  • Promotion of innovative pedagogies. Learning, combining and sharing the Pedagogy of the Third Millennium, the Critical Pedagogy, and     Pedagogy of Gender Identity , through the travels and the dissemination activities of the project.
  • Cooperate in intervention for the social inclusion of Roma youngsters and     other Minority Groups, boost the impact of each partner organization in their work.
  • Improved impact of our organizations, to reach more youngsters, be able to include them in our activities, engage them with circus, boost their self esteem, self expression, creativity, critical thinking, entrepreneurship and help them combatting discrimination, segregation and racism.
  • Contribute and support social politics in favour of the inclusion of the     marginalized community, specially the Roma community, other Minority     Groups and it’s youth.
  • Raised awareness on the issue of discrimination and marginalization in communities of minorities among youth workers and the general public, through the travels, the training course and the dissemination activities. Promoted solidarity and social dialogue and the importance and success of innovative non formal education methods.
  • Fostered cooperation between sectors, learn from each other how to work  successfully with schools, public institutions, social care agents, civil activists. Each partner organization has different strategies of cooperation with other institutions of different sectors, which will be adapted to other contexts to facilitate inter-sectorial cooperations.
  • Developed intercultural skills of all participants and the youngsters by the encounter and cooperation of different nations and ethnic groups.