Juggling teacher in Kenya

Nairobi 12-22.1.2016

Volker Maria Maier as Juggling teacher in Kenya

Here are some impressions from my stay in Jan. 2016 as a juggling teacher in Kenya.

The whole project was initiated by Alan Blim (justjuggling.com) who met Ernest Dindy during an earlier stay in Kenya. Ernest is director of the Mighty Jambo Trust Circus School in Nairobi and is active in several cultural centers. From this meeting the idea for this project was born. The aim is to make juggling in Kenya better known, with all its positive side effects. There are already some cultural centres here where acrobatics is taught, but juggling plays a minor role, the potential is enormous and the pleasure is huge. Most of the time there is only a lack of suitable juggling material and some guidance from a juggling teacher. At all our stations we met highly motivated and talented children and teenagers, who often took long ways to train with us. We had great experiences and the feeling to have initiated a great project that can grow further.

Our base was the children’s home Tone la Maji on the outskirts of Nairobi, here we could welcome students or drove from here to the houses of culture to give workshops. We were also there as juggling teachers: Thomas, Marie, Alan and me. Ernest, our contact person from Nairobi, accompanied us on all tours and organized the whole thing. I think we were able to achieve a lot with this first project and inspired some kids and gave them hope.

In this week the foundation stone was also laid to strengthen the cooperation. There are ideas to combine more teaching projects with performances to secure the financing. At the moment the whole thing is only financed by the commitment of all involved and especially by Alan who has done a lot of work in advance. So 2 greenhouses have already been bought here in which tomatoes are growing, the proceeds will be used for the project and a small juggling shop will be built. Furthermore there is the plan to bring Kenyan acrobats to Germany and to create a widespread and versatile network in which all can grow together. This sustainable idea differs from many other projects that can only survive with external funding. Nevertheless we are of course happy about donations in the form of juggling props or money from which we can buy some. We are all curious how the project will develop and will certainly come back to work on it.