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Demain's Volunteers

second edition

About the project

After hearing the passionate and touching stories of those working in social circus around the world, the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain wanted to contribute in our own way to the development of exchanges and partnerships between artists and social circus structures. Last year the Festival initiated a collaboration with different partners working towards a common mission: Cirque du Monde, Caravan, Ecole National de Cirque of Montreal (ENC), Viktor Kee Foundation, Zip Zap Circus School and other social circus organisations around the world. That’s how Demain’s Volunteers project started to take shape.


The dawn of the 1980s in Chile, saw the creation of Circo del Mundo, a pioneer in the social circus.  A project designed to help street children regain their self-esteem; a process of reconstruction made possible through learning acrobatic or object manipulation techniques. Next came Santiago in Chile, Cali in Colombia, Cape Town in South Africa, Belfast in Ireland, Nairobi in Kenya or Rabat-Salé in Morocco, who among many others, would lay the foundation of this tremendous use of circus arts to create a new vision of the world. A pretext for multiple encounters and exchanges, but also for reconciliation between communities, these social circus entities are now important players in supporting the development of countless children around the world.


Social Circus is simply the concept of using the circus arts as a tool for social change. 

Usually used as a means of interacting with at-risk individuals, the goal of social circus is to nurture participant’s self-esteem and trust in others, focusing on the personal, social and emotional development of the participants in an inclusive and safe environment.

The benefits of the social circus are numerous, providing many positive effects for those who take part in their activities, such as:

Surpassing one's limits, enabling the development of self-esteem and self-confidence;
Partaking in physical activity, increasing balance, strength and coordination;
Participating in group activities which promote co-operation, mutual aid and a spirit of solidarity;
Presenting shows, which provide an opportunity to show off one’s progress and the changes in one’s self-esteem to the community.

Our social circus school partners work with young people suffering from the effects of poverty, conflict, HIV and war.


Our project: take former artists of the Festival, train them in how to teach their skills and send them abroad to volunteer in social circus schools working with young people and aspiring circus artists around the world!


Three social circus schools, in three different continents, are ready to host the volunteer artists.


Our project provides training about social circus for our artists and then gives them the opportunity to run a course or a master class as part of a volunteer internship on site in an active social circus school.

By enrolling in the program, the artists will benefit from an online training course funded by the project that will help them to develop certain essential skills that they will need when working within the context of social education.  The outcome: they will introduce young people in difficulty to the practice of the circus arts.

The six topics or modules covered in the training:

1. Social Circus

2. Role of the instructor

3. Young people in precarious situations

4. Lesson planning

5. Leadership and group management

6. Intercultural relations

The duration of this online training course is 30 hours spread over 3 weeks and is completed entirely remotely via an online platform.  The participant will work independently for 10 hours per week and will participate in an hour-long videoconference with an instructor each week.



Cirque du Monde

ENC - École Nationale de Cirque de Montréal

Caravan European Youth et Social Circus Network

And with various social circuses (the host social circus schools):

Zip Zap Circus School (South Africa) 

Viktor Kee Foundation (Ukraine)

Sorin Sirkus (Finland)

Mobile Mini Circus for Children (Afghanistan)

Her Yerde Sanat Dernegi (Turkey)

Circo del Mundo (Chile)

Circo del Sur (Argentina)


What are the funds for?


The money raised from this crowdfunding campaign will pay for:

The online training course run by the Ecole National des Arts du Cirque in Montreal.
The travel costs of the artist volunteers as they travel to one the social circus schools (in one of 7 countries) around the world.

With the 4500€ we hope to be able to finance the volunteers’ training and travel expenses.

About the project owner


The Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, a non-profit organisation run by a 2.5 employees and a huge team of dedicated volunteers, has been running for 40 years. Since 1977, our mission has been to give exceptional young circus artists the opportunity to show off their skills in front of circus enthusiasts and professionals who all come together in Paris once a year for this unique occasion.

For the last three years, the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain has provided a space for presentations on social circus activities as part of the conferences organised by its Club PRO. After hearing the passionate and touching stories of those working in social circus around the world, we wanted to contribute in our own way to the development of exchanges and partnerships between artists and social circus structures. 




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