“Building schools is good, but it’s even better to make sure children attend the schools that are already there. “
Evidently playing is mere fun, but it is also very important that by playing children get a prospect of a better life for which they themselves can take responsibility. Mambo has about 6000 inhabitants, half of whom are under the age of 14 years old. Through the circus, the children learn tricks, they discover their skills on the unicycles, joggling, walking on stilts and acrobatics. Others appear to have talents for making music, thus providing the circus performances with a musical accompaniment. Some are good at building pieces of scenery.
Children are being enabled to experiment and learn to organize, both the content of the performances and the trainings. They learn planning and cooking meals for the children that attend the trainings and experiment with new activities. The elder children can develop into trainers. They in their turn coach somewhat younger children in being co-trainers. A few children learn bookkeeping, thus being able to do the bookkeeping on the circus activities and the Barabarani. There are English classes. Some children have learned to ride a bicycle. They will be able to guide tourists on biking tours in the beautiful and challenging surrounding hills. All these experiences lead to entrepreneurship.
The children can find out what they are good at. And are given the opportunity to learn from mistakes. Some of the older children have become trainers in the circus. And they are leading the street activities with the young children in several neighbourhoods in Mambo. These street games and activities, the Barabarani, are expanding, because people in the village have asked the trainers to start a new Barabarani in their neighbourhood.
All these new accomplishments have caused children to want to return to school or keep going to school. The children who attend the circus achieve better results at school. They have gained prospects. Through their growing self-confidence and their having role models from early age on, by seeing the older children, they get new perspectives. Girls do not necessarily have to marry at a young age. They see alternatives.
The older children see job possibilities in the village, for example as a trainer. That makes remaining in Mambo more attractive instead of putting one’s faith in finding work in the big city.