Since 2015, Zip Zap has partnered with the SOS Children’s Village in Thornton, Cape Town, to bring circus magic to children and youth from unstable domestic and/or community situations.
We continue to honour our partnership by providing circus workshops in a safe, unique, and fun environment, with the help and support of dedicated and passionate instructors. The programme aims to address children’s needs for positive growth and self-development, while promoting overall physical and mental wellbeing. Activities target challenges around learning, fostering healthy behaviours, playing together, and building and maintaining positive relationships. Children experience teamwork and learn techniques to improve inter-personal skills and foster good relationships with each other and instructors. Transport is provided to ferry participants to the Zip Zap Academy to attend sessions. All the children perform acts in the annual “Show & Tell” performance, to the delight of caregivers and staff of the Children’s Village.
The therapeutic power of circus was very evident in the Jumpstreet programme, Zip Zap’s partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, Cape Town. In 2022, 29 children from the SOS Children’s Village, Thornton were able to experience the circus magic through 30 weekly circus workshops held at the Zip Zap Academy.
The children were very excited to play and train in a novel, safe, fun and fit-for-purpose facility as they applied themselves in learning new skills and being exposed to a variety of circus disciplines. The programme encouraged physical activity in a safe, non-competitive, gender-neutral environment, and allowed the children to develop and learn through play. Physical assessments helped instructors to assess the capabilities and progress of the participants, and helped to inform effective programme content to meet programme objectives. Participants view Zip Zap instructors as role models and this helped the children to feel safe, motivated and nurtured while at Zip Zap. This contributed to the majority of participants being fully engaged during workshops. The Jumpstreet programme instilled greater confidence in the children, encouraged improved pro-social behaviours, and provided participants with a sense of belonging.
Teamwork is central to the programme and most of the children displayed improvement in this aspect of the programme. This was evident in their excitement as the participants prepared for the annual year-end Programmes Show & Tell event, and delivered wonderful performances at this event.
A Shining Star
The Jumpstreet Shining star is 16 years old Grade 9 learner at Isilimela High School. She joined the Jumpstreet programme in 2021, following auditions held at SOS Children’s Village, Thornton, Cape Town.
Her favourite discipline is the trampoline, and she is keen to develop these skills into her speciality. She is dedicated and works very hard, and is well-liked by her peers and programme instructors alike. She counts the Zip Zap instructors as her role models because they treat her well and with respect.
She was the proud recipient of the Shining Star Award in the Jumpstreet programme at the Zip Zap Programmes Show & Tell event in October 2022. This was in recognition of her outstanding performance in technique and creativity during the programme year.
She dreams of a world where people treat each other with kindness, and she aspires to be a doctor so she can help people.