The term ‘running away with the circus’ has a different meaning in the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Recently a parade of children in brightly colored clothes took to the streets to parade their skills in, of all things, juggling.
Bewildering and delighting passers-by, the parade is part of the eighth annual national juggling competition, an event that draws competitors from seven different provinces.
Where did these kids learn how to juggle? The Afghan Mobile Mini Circus teaches acrobatics and other circus-like skills to 350 students. The program is free, as long as a minimum GPA is maintained.
Zach Warren, an American volunteer with the group and expert juggler, explains that the main goal of the circus is to instill self-confidence in kids. “And if you can establish that it doesn’t matter what field they go into, any field they’re going to be more competent in.”
Students report a variety of benefits from what they learn in the circus. One student reports that juggling has helped him learn about shapes and angles, knowledge he believes will help him be a better engineer when he grows up.
Take Action Challenge
Have you ever wanted to join the circus? Click over to read (and listen to) Sean Carberry’s story from NPR, and find out why Afghani kids and their parents are flocking to the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus!
Image from the original article: Sean Carberry/NPR