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Circus pedagogy as a tool for community building
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 1, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This EVS project is a partnership between Sozialer Friedensdienst from Bremen and Circusplaneet from Gent and offers 1 volunteer the chance to explore a new culture and language, learn in a non-formal learning environment how to become a circus teacher, use circus as a pedagogical, social and creative tool and discover how circus can be used to create a more open and positive society. Miss Clara Ödén from Bremen was selected for this project because we strongly believe she will benefit from joining the Circusplaneet team. Circusplaneet, the host organization, is a community circus space where people work together in a creative and cooperative atmosphere. Hosting EVS volunteers greatly adds to the fulfillment of Circusplaneet's mission: developing and spreading circus as an art form, offering young people a chance to develop both physically and mentally, and actively promoting positive projects that are beneficial for the world in which we live. We also want to create a network with other youth circusses in Europe. European volunteers are a stepstone in this proces. Within this European framework, we plan to explore and expand our knowledge of how circus can be used as a tool for community building. The volunteer will be involved in this exploration and will be able to contribute to the research and to the practical realization of this network-project. The EVS volunteer will join the Circusplaneet team for 11 months, from October 2015 until the end of August 2016. This way, she will get the chance to experience a complete circus year and all the activities that are organized during that period. The duration of the exchange is also necessary to give the volunteer the chance to become acquainted with the organization, learn the language, become a trainer, learn to work within a small team, organize events and performances and get involved in different social circus projects. At the beginning of the project, a personal learning agreement and action plan will be drawn up to make sure all the parties involved know what the project is about. The participant will be individually supported during her stay by a staff member and a mentor. The progress of the project and the individual learning pathways will regularly be monitored and evaluated. At the end of the project, the volunteer will be assisted in (self)assessing the learning outcomes and completing a Youth Pass. We expect this project will have its impact on the EVS volunteer, on Circusplaneet as an organisation and on the participants of courses and social circus projects. This project will also increase the knowledge Circusplaneet has about how circus can be used as a tool for community building and will thus enrich the international network of youth circusses we want to build. The results of the project will be visible through various media (written information, photo's, video material) and channels (newsletters, website, Facebook page, local press) and will be spread within the Circusplaneet network and beyond.
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