The Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children is Spreading Joy - StageLync

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The Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children is Spreading Joy

The Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) is a traveling educational entertainment group in Afghanistan. MMCC accepts children aged 5–17 to learn juggling, unicycling, acrobatics, singing, comedy, theatre, and magic tricks. The organization’s goal is to spread joy and bring laughter back to the children of the war-torn country.

The Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) was established as a non-profit organization established in 2002, to work with orphaned and traumatized children. Travelling through danger zones, the MMCC aims to entertain kids and adults alike. It also gives children aged 5-17 the opportunity to learn circus skills like juggling, unicycling, acrobatics, and magic tricks. This brings them happiness and keeps their minds and body busy.

Visiting internally displaced persons camps and orphanages, the project has grown so popular over the years it now runs centres in ten provinces to spread a little joy in the war-torn country.After decades of war, the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus aims to unlock the creativity and spirit of fun in Afghan children by bringing tools for storytelling, performance, and public expression to children across Afghanistan.

Circus members act as teachers for the children, holding three days of workshops on circus skills such as puppetry, walking on stilts, and juggling. With help from circus trainers and a group of traveling children-artists – mostly orphans – Afghan children create a show for the community over the first two days and then perform it on the third day. The Mobile Mini Circus for Children has reached over 3.6 million audience and workshop participants in Afghanistan since 2002. Their pedagogy is developed for disadvantaged children and youth of war where all the other pedagogies, trainings, and trauma therapies fail. The emphasis is on circus activities, but what is offered ranges from physical arts, challenging athletic and technical skills, to social games, and even to singing and painting together.

Most importantly, all activities are designed to bring hope, joy, and a positive sense of belonging and solidarity.An Afghan school girl who attended a performance said in an interview with Euronews, “We are all tired of war. We have enjoyed this entertainment program. We wish to have peace and security in our country so we can have more fun and this kind of amusement in our life.”

One of the trainers who is himself a war orphan, Suraya, also spoke with Euronews and said, “I ask the children to come and learn circus tricks and ignore the war. Circus is a joyful art. And I am sure by doing circus tricks children will forget all the pain of war and panic they have in their minds.” The Taliban see these circus performances as ‘heretical,’ due to the music. Also, girls are forbidden from performing in public under their regime. Since the Taliban regained power in 2021, the circus troupe has to be alert and careful in a country that is still divided and ravaged by a war that continued way too long. Founded by Danish dance instructor David Mason, the circus is one of only few projects which are expanding despite a drop in international aid to Afghanistan.

“We tell the children that they should not worry about conflict and war. We try to distract them and try to give them hope that they will have a bright future. We make the children happy and teach them that they are the creators of the future. We encourage them to show their skills to others. This is our goal, to make children happy and keep them safe,” explains another circus instructor, Khalilullah Hameed.

Learning and performing circus skills and having fun is combined with essential messages such as health, landmine awareness, and the importance of going to school.

Links Official Website Afghan Mobile Mini Circus; Mobile Mini Circus for Children MMCC – Location Kabul; MMCC Global

This article was originally published on TheatreArtLife.com.  

Liam Klenk
Liam Klenk was born in Central Europe and has since lived on four continents. Liam has always been engaged in creative pursuits, ranging from photography and graphic design, to writing short stories and poetry, to working in theatre and shows. In 2016, Liam published his first book and memoir, ‘Paralian’.

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Liam Klenk

Liam Klenk was born in Central Europe and has since lived on four continents. Liam has always been engaged in creative pursuits, ranging from photography and graphic design, to writing short stories and poetry, to working in theatre and shows. In 2016, Liam published his first book and memoir, ‘Paralian’.