Zip Zap Academy: +27 (0)21 421 8622

We have partnered with SOS Children’s Villages Canada and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa in an exciting new project designed to complement their existing Family Strengthening programme. This 24-month social circus project will benefit 30 at-risk children per year living in Philippi.

The Philippi area is a low-income settlement that faces serious development challenges, such as escalating gangsterism, food insecurity and substance abuse. Children growing up in the area face neglect, physical and psychological abuse as well as domestic and community violence. The Phillipi community thus provides limited opportunities for children to reach their full potential, and few get the chance to leave the township.

The Family Strengthening programme (FSP) was launched in Philippi in 2012 to provide support to vulnerable children and their families – empowering them with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

JumpStreet - Outreach Programme
JumpStreet - Outreach Programme

The Social Circus Project will complement the existing FSP and aims to provide these 30 children with opportunities to overcome trauma and develop the skills to thrive. Participants will be divided into two gender-balanced groups of up to 15. The first one for children 8 – 12 years old and the second one for children aged 13-17.

Each group will attend circus workshops twice a month, on alternating weeks, at the Zip Zap Academy. In total four social circus semesters will take place over two years. At the end of each semester and each year, participants will produce a ‘Show and Tell’, that allows them to work towards a common goal, showcase their achievements and celebrates their successes.

Zip Zap has successfully partnered with SOS Children’s Villages in Thornton, Cape Town, since 2015 in our Jumpstreet programme. Social Circus projects are facilitated by trained social circus instructors who guide participants through workshops and group discussions and are tailored specifically to vulnerable children. Previous Social Circus workshops held have yielded measurable improvements in resilience, decreased social isolation, and supported the development of healthy relationships for marginalized children.

Former beneficiaries have developed life-skills such as self-confidence, trust, interpersonal skills and teamwork. Skills that are all vital for academic success, healthy relationships and future employability.

This project incorporates Cirque du Soleil’s Cirque du Monde methodology and is funded by the Varico Foundation and Cirque du Soleil.


For more information on how to join one of our programmes, email



We rely entirely on donations to change lives. Our students don’t pay for any classes.

Donate today and dream with us