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Cirque de Kabul

Afghan children find hope & the joy of childhood in a circus school

This would look like a very ordinary industrial yard except that the repurposed shipping containers are brightly coloured in red, yellow, green and blue. In a country stricken by conflict, children of various ages are doing extraordinary things. They're learning circus skills and having fun. They juggle, unicycle, walk the tightrope and form human pyramids. This is the Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) - an oasis of peace and hope in war-torn Afghanistan.

Mobile Mini Circus for Children in Afghanistan gives children hope and the joy of childhood
A former student, Mujtaba, is teaching newcomers everything he knows about circus arts at the Mobile Mini Circus for Children.

Its founders, originally from Denmark, say they want to bring smiles and inspiration to Afghan children growing up with poverty and ever-present death. With MMCC, boys and girls learn to communicate and trust each other through play and by performing and displaying their skills to the public.

Afghan children
Every week, teachers from the Mobile Mini Circus for Children visit kids in refugee camps around the capital Kabul to teach them tricks and invite the most talented to join the circus school.

Sadly, the circus can’t take everyone who wants to join, and some parents won't let their kids take part. That’s why teachers, some of whom used to be students, take to the streets to introduce youngsters to some basic tricks or try to convince sceptical parents to permit their kids to visit the circus.

Kabul circus for children, Mobile Mini Circus for Children
Kids from the Mobile Mini Circus for Children perform for the public in schools and parks. Each show lasts no more than 30 minutes. It can be dangerous if it’s longer as attacks are commonplace in Kabul.

An RTD crew discovers this colourful mark on Kabul’s map and meets the teachers and children of the mobile circus. As the troupe prepares for a big show, we hear the children’s thoughts on why projects like the circus are vital for Afghanistan’s youth.