Our 2nd Chance programme was established in 2009 in partnership with The City of Cape Town, and now proudly continues in partnership with the HCI Foundation and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).
Through this programme we are able to engage beneficiaries from primary schools, high schools, NGOs, orphanages, and children’s homes in the most underserved areas across Cape Town. The children are transported to our training Academy and exposed to hands-on workshops comprising games, circus techniques and fun activities, geared toward teaching teamwork and instilling discipline… and all this playing out in a safe, fun, and exciting environment! Participants experience a sense of belonging whilst engaging in a fun and creative circus workshop that inspires interest and a willingness to learn new skills. These interventions aim to inspire participants to envision an alternative, more positive future and develop an expanded awareness about possible career opportunities.
Zip Zap’s 2nd Chance progamme engaged 1017 participants from Western Cape Education Department (WCED) schools across the Cape Town metropole through 36 workshops. Most of these schools were situated in the most under-resourced and under-served areas in Cape Town, and access to extra-mural activities and excursions are often very limited. The children were welcomed at the Zip Zap Academy and were excited to be able to explore in a very novel setting. Learners enjoyed exhibition performances by Zip Zap’s Dare2Dream vocational students, which left them completely spellbound and in awe. The workshops contain a “Q&A” section which allowed children to ask questions and gain deeper insight into circus arts, Zip Zap Social Circus and the possible career opportunities that exist in the circus- and performing arts.
Maintaining safe space for all children to express themselves freely is paramount at Zip Zap, and 98% of participants reported feeling safe during the programme. 96% of participants reported having learned something new about circus and 81% of learners reported having a new-found interest in joining the circus. 95 % of participants reported feeling inspired after attending a workshop and 99% reported having had fun at the workshop.
Teachers also reported that participation in the workshop seemed to boost children’s confidence and also created awareness of alternative career paths they may not have previously considered.
Quotations from teachers/chaperones:
- “It exposes our learners to a whole new side of arts seeing we are underprivileged and come from struggling schools who can’t give them such experiences, this has been by far the greatest workshop our school has ever been to. The importance of arts & culture is undermined with no value from where we are from, but with such workshops, learners start to appreciate art.”
- “Learners felt safe and not judged, all learners were given a chance to try.”
- “The caring nature experienced with all the instructors truly made the workshop one of superior quality. It builds self-esteem and confidence in our learners and allows them to explore different avenues of life.”
- “I enjoyed the absolute disciplined nature of your instructors. The learners really felt safe and trusted them.
- “You’re doing a great job as is! It’s been a privilege being in such a safe, happy space.”
“It awakens creativity within our learners – making them realise that there other possibilities for their lives.” – Partcipating School
The programme was overwhelmingly well-received by participants and teachers alike. Learners were excited to experience the Zip Zap Academy, a state-of-the-art, fit-for-purpose facility specifically built for circus training. They were enthralled by D2D students who delivered exhibition performances, and all of these opened their minds to the demands and opportunities of circus and performing arts.
Following 2nd Chance workshops offered to schools in the Salt River area, at least 10 new enrolments were received for The Hood programme, which caters to children living and schooling in the neighbourhood.