Sunday, January 21, 2007

Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children School

This morning on NPR I heard this story about a children's circus school in Afghanistan where the kids learn how to do standard circus stuff like juggling and acrobatics, but also skills such as computer science, embroidery, radio production, and how to recognize and avoid land mines. I love the future forward, optimistic focus on education and children. We'll have to go see them in 2008. Here is a link to their site: Afghan Mini Mobile Circus for Children

From the NPR story

Founder David Mason says when they take their show on the road, it's to educate as much as to entertain. They teach life-saving subjects, like how to recognize and avoid land mines, or the importance of washing hands.

He took his life savings and went to Pakistan in early 2002. But no aid agency would sponsor him. He says they wanted to build clinics and schools. The idea of a circus just didn't fly.

The 14 Afghan teachers and performers who work for the circus are paid a modest $200 per month. About half of them travel across Afghanistan to perform in provincial schools. Mason says it's too dangerous to let the students travel.

But the children do perform overseas. Fariya's brother recently returned from Japan. Their sister, Parisa, went to Germany and Denmark. A trip to California is planned in 2008.

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