The Star Bridge Circus

São Paulo, Brazil. In a conversation with Friends of Waldorf Education, Regina Klein, director of a circus project for young people in São Paulo, explains why the program is so important, especially during school vacations. A summary.

The “Circo Ponte das Estrelas,” [Star Bridge Circus], offers children and young people from the outskirts of São Paulo a safe space. The twelve to eighteen-year-olds who take part in the recreational activities mostly come from severely financially disadvantaged families living in parts of the Brazilian metropolis where crime and drug gang violence are the norm. The circus offers the young people a break from the harsh reality of their lives. At daily meetings before and after school, they practice circus acts and theater scenes or make art and music together. The circus also provides them with regular meals and, if necessary, school materials. The circus program allows the young participants to grow and learn in a way that suits them individually while also fulfilling the wishes and needs that are neglected at home. This is particularly important during school vacations, emphasizes Klein. Although the children have time off during this period, the working family members often do not. This means that young people are left to their own devices for weeks on end, with no structure and no opportunity to leave the house, as it is too dangerous to be on the street. To offer them an alternative, the Circo Ponte das Estrelas organizes special vacation activities. During the winter vacations, the entire group moves to a country property to live together and train for a subsequent tour of theaters and schools in São Paulo. In addition to circus training, there is space for excursions into nature as well as singing, painting, and playing. During the summer vacations, the circus goes on a real vacation trip, which sometimes includes a second tour but also plenty of time to just be. During these vacation activities, the children and young people get to know welcoming environments where they can feel safe, showing them that the world has much more to offer than the hardships of the neighborhoods they come from.

Source Aktuelles aus der Waldorfwelt

Translation Charles Cross
Photo Friends of Waldorf Education

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