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Written on October 17th, 2013 , Arts in Community, Performing Tags: ,

Although I have returned to the United States from Afghanistan, my heart is still in a small bright classroom filled to capacity with girls bright, ferocious, and beautiful as fireflies.

I plan to write soon some funny and stressful details of my time there and plans to return, but for today, I would like to focus on the MMCC (Mobile Mini Children’s Circus) itself, and the incredibly important work they do.

I quote their website below; photos provided by MMCC  😮

“The Mobile Mini-Circus for Children (MMCC) and its local partner, the Afghan Educational Children’s Circus (AECC), together form a cooperative International/Afghan non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people. MMCC is the supervising umbrella organization under which AECC operates. Activities, however, are run jointly and cooperatively…Established in 2002, MMCC/AECC has grown into a countrywide education program focusing on teaching children to lead. MMCC/AECC’s basic philosophy is that children know best how to communicate with other children. The goal is to give children the tools they need so they can themselves develop creative and novel ways of spreading fun education throughout Afghanistan.

Since 2002 MMCC and its local partner AECC, Afghan Educational Children Circus, has performed and made workshops for more than 2.7 million children in 25 provinces all over Afghanistan. The combination of entertaining and essential educational messages such as health, landmine awareness, peace and back to school/importance of education, delivered by professional Afghan artists in a pure local context, has proved to pave the road for cultural activities even in parts of the country where music, singing and other forms of artistic expression have been suppressed or forgotten for decades.Each year MMCC and AECC bring together children from across the country for numerous big events such as festivals and children assemblies. When children play, practice and perform together, they become much more than just representatives of their background, region or ethnicity. They become friends, active members of a joyful family and advocates for national unity.Circus and especially social circus as developed in the frame of MMCC/AECC in the past 10 years, is much more than physical art. It is about using the amazing capacities of circus as a tool to make positive social change for children.

Where every child is acknowledged, a community can blossom. A primary target group and main concern of the MMCC/AECC are the challenged children and youth including orphans, handicapped, street working- and internally displaced children living in refugee camps.  These are the most vulnerable in society.
Through comprehensive outreach programs, children from all different backgrounds are involved in the activities.

Outreach 


In one of MMCC/AECCs larger outreach programs, children from IDP camps first visit the Kabul capacity center where they are introduced to the world of social circus. Afterward, a group of MMCC/AECC trainers visits the camps regularly with circus and media equipment to teach children how to play, juggle, perform, interact and express themselves through photo, radio and video productions. 
Some of the best camp children become part of a trainer program and network supporting them to continue and sustain the activities in the camp.

Cheerful Anniversary Celebration of MMCC/AECCWhat are the best moments in life? 
Isn’t it the time you are so happy and full of joy that your laughter is so intense you can’t control it anymore, until your eyes are full of tears? 
Many believe you first need security, shelter, health, education, economical stability, infrastructure etc., until finally you could have those fancy moments. 10 years ago MMCC (Mobile Mini Circus for Children) started from the other end, practically bringing those laughers and good moments to millions of children in Afghanistan: our Social Circus brought the laughter first, which makes all problems seem less horrible and put a focus on the fun and positive side to bring hope. A hope that can rebuild the country: MMCC incorporates information and education into performances and workshops, so children learn through fun. 
Since 2002 many children have been motivated, educated, and inspired to a healthy, wise, hopeful, dynamic and positive life through the MMCC. With or without security, infrastructure, etc., they have had at least lots of fun and now after 10 years they are forming the new Afghan generation. Besides the joy and laughter a broad range of cultural and educational services have been provided by MMCC since 2002 such as:Since 2002, 2.7 million Children have watched the live educational performances of MMCC in 25 provinces of Afghanistan.

Hundreds of events, festivals of circus and theater, pedagogy workshops and beautification of schools and championships in many different provinces have been organized.

Hundreds of radio, music and TV programs plus magazines have made for and by children.

A numerous local and national Children Assemblies (Shura-e-Atfal) organized.

International performing tours of children to Japan, Italy, Denmark and Germany.

There are different ways to help us to cover the young artists costumes and equipment to keep them performing for thousands of children. One way is by direct contribution, and the other is via your social media. Click HERE to spread the wealth or the word!

Me again…..Folks, check it out, and please spread the word. To fight anything else, we must first fight despair. Yours in joy….

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