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Mighty Jambo Circus Academy

Jennifer Huxta

The Githurai slum is a busy residential and market area just outside central Nairobi, Kenya. Half of the population (of about 320,000) lives below the poverty line. Residents face problems such as a lack of adequate housing, water shortages, sanitation and waste removal issues. Many families cannot afford to pay school fees for their children. Mighty Jambo Circus Academy is a professional acrobatic training program for children and teens. It provides an alternative space for them to engage in the arts, sports and learn a lucrative trade.

For two years, room and board is provided. They practice handstands, juggle, and perform acrobatic acts on the trapeze, aerial silk, unicycle and tight rope. Through the Academy’s outreach program, the students teach workshops with kids in Githurai and perform at local schools.

This project is part of a series exploring the role of sports and art as part of re-education for those who have experienced trauma, via violent conflict or daily grinding poverty.