Circus Kathmandu engages people through the power of storytelling and the magic of circus. It is also a human rights project in action: powerfully demonstrating ethical, creative and healthy living through the Sapana programme.

Sapana for children and young people

Sapana (meaning dreams/aspirations) provides weekly classes and outreach workshops to empower children through dynamic and creative circus and theatre arts.

The Sapana programme is designed to safeguard vulnerable children, excite them about learning, and develop social and personal tools such as confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness and teamwork. These building blocks help realize children’s potential and confidence to go into further education or employment, thereby decreasing their susceptibility to trafficking and debt bondage.

Workshops include body awareness to developing coordination, balance, motor skills and fitness. Participants begin with a warm up, then focus on basic acro, acrobalance, tumbling and explore basic manipulation of circus toys such as plates, balls, scarves, poi and hoops and conclude with a cool down.

Sapana programme includes:

  • Weekly classes every Saturday at CK’s training facility: Local orphanages and organisations working to support street youth arrive with classes of children ready to learn new and exciting circus arts. These programmes provide a safe and supportive environment for at-risk youth to develop circus and theatre skills, all while having fun.
  • Taliored workshops and school residencies: Creative arts and physical education workshops with schools improves academic performance and builds healthy, confident students. The workshops can incorporate curriculum objectives especially in PE, literacy and early years numeracy.

Sapana outreach and advocacy in communities

Circus Kathmandu has developed a unique public advocacy tool using forum theatre and circus techniques to create an audience-interactive tool for social change. The tool is special in its power to attract the attention of the community and to directly involve the participants in the advocacy initiatives by bringing in their stories to create personal and relevant dialogue among the participants. The dialogue enables the issues to be examined from different perspectives leading to participants contributing their ideas for solutions and social change. Evidence shows the messages are retained by participants even after six months, therefore creating awareness that has a long-lasting impact.

The use of this tool by Circus Kathmandu has been very successful in creating awareness around the issues of human rights, child rights, gender issues, health and human trafficking in the communities that it has engaged. Funding from Comic Relief will enable Circus Kathmandu, in partnership with FSI International, to expand and refine the outreach and advocacy programme during 2018-19 with a focus on ethical recruitment.

We are interested in partnering with other organisations to develop new messages for community engagement. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about this ground-breaking initiative.

Why Sapana?

The ILO reports around 12,000 Nepalis are trafficked from Nepal each year. Poverty and mis-information in villages are the key enablers of exploitation. Circus Kathmandu’s model is to fight these risks by creating real-life success stories of young people achieving their potential to draw attention to the pervasive myths and spread the anti-slavery message to Nepal’s most vulnerable people. To date, CK have accomplished over 50 such tours across the nation, reaching thousands of children and families to teach rural families about the tricks and tactics of human traffickers.


If you would like to support CK’s outreach work,
please consider donating or joining us as a corporate sponsor.

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