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Australian experts teach circus skills to disadvantaged Vietnamese

    Orphans at the Maison Chance in HCMC perform a circus dance under the instruction of Circa. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN GENERAL CONSULATE

Circa, a renowned Australian circus company that has toured 24 countries across five continents, has just completed training workshops for young people and adults in Vietnam.

With support from the Australian Government, two circus trainers and one cultural advisor/interpreter delivered workshops at two charity organizations.

One was Hanoi-based Blue Dragon, a children's charity foundation that reaches out to kids in crisis throughout Vietnam including street kids, kids with disabilities, kids from very poor families and victims of human trafficking and slavery.

The other was HCMC-based Maison Chance, a springboard for orphans, street children, disadvantaged people and the physically handicapped in Vietnam.

Circa Training Centre provides workshops for all people with all abilities.

For children who already had some experience of circus activities, the workshops allowed them to advance their skills including tumbling, acrobalance, and hula hoops. For children and adults who are disabled, they were guided in juggling and spinning plates.

Australian Consul General John McAnulty, who attended a circus performance by some of the young workshop participants, said: "All participants have learnt valuable life skills through the circus program such as team work, trust and self-confidence. Circa has provided a wonderful opportunity for those who are lucky enough to have participated in these workshops".

To Thi Huong Giang, Program Manager of Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, said "The kids have learned so much from the experience, and it's brought a lot of laugher and joy."

This event forms part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam in 2013. The workshops were successful and Circa has been invited to return to Vietnam again next year.

The funds for the project are provided by the Australian International Cultural Council (AICC) through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.