Vancouver Circus School travelled to Yangon, Myanmar this past February, to take part in an international press release for ASCA- Asia Social Circus Association. Travis Johnson, Owner of VCS, is proud to be on the board.
Five Year Strategic Plan Developed
The Asian Social Circus Association (ASCA) is implementing a five-year working strategy that will collectively change the lives of millions of underprivileged children all across Asia, especially in the 10 ASEAN nations.
Five members of the association’s Board of Directors, all social circus entrepreneurs coming from places as diverse as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Canada, have developed action plans that will directly benefit 1.5 million underprivileged children and a further 3 million of their families over the next five years.
These action plans, which will be rolled out in phases with the collaborative efforts of over 25 social circus organizations across Asia, comprise of the following projects:
•5 international youth arts festivals
•15 national youth arts festivals
•100 provincial youth arts festivals
•250 capacity building workshops for local youth
•Vocational educational trainings for 1,000 circus artists
•International cultural exchange programs for 250 young adults.
On February 16-18, 2015, five members of ASCA’s Board of Directors came together for a strategic planning meeting in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma).
Member organizations of ASCA are experiencing similar issues across the region including: extreme poverty, child trafficking, war, stateless individuals, refugees and lack of protection of minority rights.
Social Circus facilitates conflict resolution, peace building, education advocacy, gender equality, and economic empowerment.
“In the last decade alone, our members have collectively contributed to the improvement of more than 4 million lives all across Asia,” David Mason of Mobile Mini Circus in Afghanistan, a member of ASCA’s Board of Directors.
Social Circus organizations work with marginalized communities to empower youth through developing self- reliance, confidence, trust, and ultimately building hope for a better future.
Founded with support from Cirque du Soleil in 2013, ASCA is an association that connects and empowers youth art-based organizations (social, community, and for-profit) in Asia. It has members spanning from Kabul to Canberra. The association’s two core objectives are:
1.Child rights and child protection advocacy throughout Asia
2.Introduction of social circus as an empowerment medium for underprivileged communities across Asia
Founding members of ASCA include Dan Roberts of the Red Nose Foundation in Indonesia, Travis Johnson of the Vancouver Circus School in Canada, Jerry Snell from Street Arts for Street Kids in Thailand-Vietnam-Malaysia, David Mason from in Afghanistan, and Jean-Noel Walkowiak from Phare Ponleu Selpak in Cambodia.
ASCA’s Board of Directors
Social circus refers to the growing movement towards the use of circus arts as mediums for social empowerment. It is based on innovative pedagogical tools and the dynamic art-based education to teach social values and personal development to marginalized youth. Social circus promotes art and culture as powerful agents in the education of at-risk youth and encourages the exchange of ideas and experiences.