A place to run, jump, fly
and land safely.
See our News and Events' Section for photos and videos of the most recent visit from Circus Zambia
Circus Zambia is a youthful and vibrant social circus company that equips young people from vulnerable backgrounds with circus and life skills whilst providing educational and employment opportunities. They offer performances, workshops, mentorship and provide school scholarships. They do this so young people can blossom and become change-makers in their community.
We are very pleased and excited at Knowle Park to have formed a link with Circus Zambia in order to collaborate with them. We look forward to our future cultural exchanges and collaborations with this contemporary circus company as we work together, learn from each other and try to support them with their non-profit work.
The co-founder of Circus Zambia, Gift Chansa, sends us regular videos - click on play to hear him. In the most recent video the children from Circus Zambia say thank you to the Knowle Park Community for their generosity.
Press Release to South Bristol Voice
From Knowle Park Primary School
Knowle Park schoolchildren raise over £5, 000 for young people in Africa
Pupils at Knowle Park Primary school have raised a staggering £5,128 pounds for Circus Zambia, an organization that works with street children in Lusaka, Zambia.
The money was raised by children throughout the school by various activities. Cake sales, food tasting, book sales, a fair, sponsored runs, selling herbs and flowers grown by children all featured. Year One children performed African Call and Response songs in front of parents; the children then sold pieces of their African inspired art to parents.
One pupil in Year 5 said “I am surprised by how much we raised as a class. We did lots of different fair type games and a book sale. I feel really proud and excited that it is going to a good charity”
Circus Zambia, in the words of its leader, Gift Chansa, “, engages young people through circus activities, and then enables them to access education and training. They learn about things that directly affect their communities like water, sanitation, the environment and gender equality.” Without Circus Zambia, these young people are rootless, often without family support, and can drift into homelessness and crime.
Gift was himself such a young person and his personal story, which he shares with young people with whom he works, provides inspiration in itself. Gift and Circus Zambia visited Knowle Park School in 2018 where they performed some of their amazing acrobatic routines. A link with the school started and teacher Nicola Chaplin has developed this so that Years 1 and 6 find out about Africa and Zambia by direct contact with Circus Zambia. “Children are fascinated by the differences between the two countries, but also by the similarities. So, everyone was threatened by Covid, but the resources available to fight it were very different. We all recognize the challenges that we face in caring for our environment and understanding diversity” said Nicola.
During the height of the Covid pandemic Knowle Park children and young people in Lusaka were able to share a book reading project and discuss the similarities and differences of their experiences. It was a unique experience for the young people in Zambia to read extracts from “Here we are” to children in Knowle Park via Zoom.
Nicola hopes that Circus Zambia will visit the school again, and Gift has said that he would like to visit old friends in Bristol, and make new ones. When asked how they would spend the money collected Gift has plenty of ideas. “It will help to provide professional training for young people in circus skills. Others will be able to complete their education. Some will go towards repairing and improving the facilities in the theatre. Thank you so much and God Bless, the parents, teachers and children, and everyone that is involved with this project.”
The final word goes to a child at Knowle Park in Year 5. “We had a lot of fun doing our fundraising so I would do it again because it was for a good cause.”
Gift Chansa, Artistic Director, is a co-founder of Circus Zambia and was born and raised in Chibolya, Lusaka, Zambia. Gift studied acrobatics in China at Wuqiao Acrobat Art School. He has also trained at The Fontys Circus Performance Academy in The Netherlands. He has performed and conducted acrobatic and gymnastic workshops in over 13 countries including Poland, UK and Germany.
Gift is a winner of the Queens Young leaders award 2018.
Click on the video below to find out more about Gift.