Hello friends, family, and perhaps total strangers! If you don't know me, my name is Brianne, I'm 23 and currently based in Indiana. If you do know me, you probably know that I have an ever growing passion for circus arts, and a desire to create goodness in this world. This is why I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to volunteer with CircusAid in Athens, Greece this August, helping to facilitate workshops for refugees involving acro-balance, juggling, slacklining, and hula hooping.
Why this work?
I'm sure you have all heard about the refugee crisis in the news in the past few years. Greece has recently seen an influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and more. These people arrive full of hope and relief, but can soon feel demoralized by their lack of occupational roles and uncertain futures. The refugee experience is a breeding ground for mental instability and illness. Research in occupational science literature supports the claim that occupational deprivation breaks down the spirit. The refugee crisis has resulted in people being deprived of the activities and roles that give their life meaning.
While occupational deprivation results in mental health issues, social circus can lead to an increased resilience and community connection. Research findings highlight the necessity of leisure and play experiences for young people especially in environments where school institutions and political unrest inhibit creativity, exploration, and freedom of expression (Biquet, 2014).
CircusAid was founded by Occupational Therapist Jill Maglio out of her Holistic Circus Therapy practice. Its programing is grounded in evidence based practices developed through occupational therapy and social circus research. Its projects aim to ameliorate the negative impacts of occupational deprivation on the micro level, providing immediate opportunities for relief from mental anguish. On the macro level, CircusAid’s projects help refugees attain transferable life skills such as social connectedness, perseverance and problem solving that promote mental health and resilience during migration; and greater success in new socio and political environments.
What will your support do?
Your financial support will help make possible CircusAid’s 2[phone redacted] Residency Project, centering on a 3-month residency taking place from June - September 2018. Based on the project’s success from last year, CircusAid has received recurring invitations to partner with three other NGO’s in the Skaramangas, Eleonas, and Malakasa Camps surrounding the Athens area to provide social circus workshops to the residents that focus on addressing short term occupational deprivation as well as facilitating experiences for life skills acquisition to help the participants in their resettlement.
The specific goals your donation will help make possible include:
1. Providing ongoing circus workshops throughout the residency, which will engage approximately 4,800 refugees in over 250 hours of social circus workshops.
2. Serving mixed ethnic groups (Afghani, Syrian, Iraqi, Sudanese, Eritrean, Ethiopian)
3. Construction of a mobile circus tent to house workshops
4. Creating, directing and performing a final show with refugee participants.
5. Training five adult refugee participants in Social Circus facilitation to continue the workshops once CircusAid leaves the camps in September 2018.
100% of proceeds go towards assisting refugees and enabling our project to take place.
**In order to participate, I must raise at least $2,000 for CircusAid. The rest of the goal amount will further support CircusAid's long term efforts**
Your support would mean the world to me!
For more info on CircusAid visit:
If you would like to claim a tax deduction on your donation please make your donation through our fiscal sponsor:
- sadie Coughlin-Prego
- Raquel Saunders
- Sheila Peterson
- Lara -
Organizer and beneficiary
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