Zip Zap Circus School, located in the Artscape gardens, has been delighting and entertaining audiences for 22 years. But it is far more than just a performing arts centre; it is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at tackling poverty and unemployment in Cape Town by teaching circus acts to aspiring youngsters in high-risk areas of Cape Town.
Zip Zap offers a number of programmes to children of various ages and helps draw young people away from a life of drugs, gangsterism and crime. The training is free and creates a fun energetic environment where children learn fundamental skills such as discipline, commitment, team work and the value of fitness. In 2014, 1200 young children benefited from the Zip Zap Circus programme and in total, 8000 Zip Zappers (as they are affectionately known) have completed programmes and have ended up with much greater career prospects. Not only have their alumni become circus performers and technicians, but some have also found work within the education sector and movie industry. Two past Zip Zappers are in the US working for Universoul Circus and Cirque du Soleil; some have opened circus schools with Spier near Stellenbosch and in Cologne, Germany; while others have had their dreams come true by featuring on SA’s Got Talent.
Zip Zap has had a great impact on the lives of children and parents in high risk areas. A comment from one of the Zip Zappers was: ‘They really changed my life. Zip Zap is the best, no matter where you go. I cannot go back to where I was. I cannot live there anymore. They really opened my heart and made me understand that we are all different but we are one.’ The parents are also finding that their ‘child wants to come to the clinic all the time now’ and ‘she is more excited about taking her ARVs because she has a place to play and have fun.’
Zip Zap Circus School requires financial backing in order to continue its work in impoverished Cape Town communities and is an ideal Corporate Social Investment (CSI) beneficiary with a proven track record and visionary approach to social upliftment. A long-term partnership with a level 1 BBBEE organisation will raise your reputation as a business that cares while ensuring that a well-managed and trusted NPO can continue to tackle unemployment, transfer skills and educate high risk youth living in Cape Town.