The couple has been dreaming of building a volunteer-operated center in Opiyo’s hometown of Gemkodigia for quite some time, as a means to give back to a community that they have grown to love, to bring smiles to the children of Gemkodiaga through play, mindfulness, discipline and to connect cultures and countries through circus, acrobatics and acroyoga.
“We have both learned so much about ourselves, each other, and about life through circus,” says Bruin. “It has helped us to move forward in our lives…Through teaching circus we can give to others that same sense of empowerment, confidence, and self-respect that we have gained through the practice and dedication to a challenging and fun profession.”
In villages in Kenya, few activities are organized for children and adults alike. Often, children in the impoverished areas of Gemkodigia do not get the chance to attend school and loose the opportunity to develop a sense of the world picture.
Circus Tabasamu plans to bring together people of different families, religions, cultures and continents. Through circus and acrobatics - skills that require teamwork and communication-
Opiyo and Bruin believe that, “through Acro yoga, acrobatics and circus, children and adults can learn from each other on social, intellectual, artistic, emotional, cultural and spiritual levels”.
“By [teaching] Acro Yoga and circus acrobatics together,” says Bruin, “[A] greater [sense of] understanding and connection are created. Judgment and jealousy turn into working together, connection and trust”.
The center will be built on the land owned by the Opiyo family and will serve as the basis for all kinds of learning opportunities including acrobatic activities and training, arts and crafts workshops to sell as funding support for the center, and educational projects about healthy living topics. The center will be a source of inspiration where the people of the community will work together with people from all over the world.
The project will be receiving funds through Circus Tabasamu’s website, using an open-source crowdfunding platform model that will allow donations to be processed directly through Paypal.
The campaign hopes to raise $50,000 in 65 days, and like other crowdfunding platforms, the campaign will offer rewards to backers - including yoga gear, Circus Tabasamu branded T-shirts and free classes and trainings.
Circus Tabasamu: The Kenya Project funding will launch onJanuary 17, 2014. To learn more visitwww.circustabasamu.com.