Aaron

Kids come full circus

SOS Children's Village Social Circus: ‘Juggling now, empowerment later."

The evening begins with a game of “museum.”

In the basketball court in the backyard of the SOS Children’s Village BC site in Surrey, a dozen kids of all ages gather.

Ryan Mellors, one of three instructors from the Vancouver Circus School, tells them to become statues as he, a “security” guard, walks the “museum” after hours.

Whipping his head around on occasion, he’ll spot those who don’t stay still, sending them to the sideline.

The game, repeated with other “guards,” is a fun warm-up for what will be two hours of playing, juggling, balancing and jumping – part of the new Social Circus program at the two-and-a-half acre site in Surrey.

A number of the children are orphans, some with traumatic history or fetal alcohol syndrome-based behavioural issues.

In this village, where they’ll be taken care of into early adulthood, they’re considered family.

This village has five homes, which are among SOS Children’s Village BC’s seven other independent SOS Children’s Village homes in the community.

New this summer is the seven-week, 14-session Social Circus program, in partnership with Cirque du Soleil (using the framework of its at-risk youth program, Cirque du Monde) and the New Westminster-based Vancouver Circus School.

At left, Vancouver Circus School trainer Shantel Grant steers Niam, 6, on stilts.

“Social Circus offers training and education on how to be more successful in a social situation,” says SOS Children’s Villages BC Executive Director Douglas Dunn. “(It) develops the individual through circus skills.”

Using circus arts as a method of intervention, the SOS Social Circus program helps vulnerable children socialize and gain confidence.

Benefits also include patience, improved communication and teamwork.

Village Director Kistie Singh describes the Social Circus program as “juggling now, empowerment later.”

SOS Children’s Village is a worldwide independent, non-governmental, non-denominational organization that works to meet the needs of at-risk children and families.

Their focus is on orphaned and abandoned children.

“SOS goes to great length to make sure these kids are protected,” Singh says. “We always want kids to feel at home.”

For more information, visit sosbc.org

Just Posted

Four teams left standing in fight for Surrey RCMP Classic basketball championship

School squads in all-Surrey tourney prep for Friday semifinals at Enver Creek gym

South Surrey woman mastering the stuff that matters

KonMari method, developed in Japan, draws on heart connection

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Dog shot in foot with BB gun during cellphone sale at SkyTrain station

William Ayers, 28, is facing a number of charges after incident in Burnaby

Man, two children sent to hospital after Vancouver carbon monoxide leak

Nine people were evacuated from the home in south Vancouver

Most Read