Our Vintage Circus Showcase working in support of The Mongolian Street Kids Circus.
Last year our entertainment manager, took a trip to the other side of the world to scout for talent. One of her team members suggested going to his homeland Mongolia. There they were both invited to visit a small city Dharkan and meet an extraordinary circus troupe. Why is this troupe more special than any other troupe in the world? Because it’s a circus troupe of 14 street kids, aged 14 to 25, who were literally found on a train.
Unfortunately, these kids come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. Majority of them don’t have families or if they do, their parents don’t have enough money to raise them or even worse, they abuse their kids. These young talents have no access to education and some of them have to sleep in basements or entrances of block of flats, only so they could survive freezing Mongolian winters. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that they had no other choice than get on the trains and steal passengers’ food and money. Tojil Tomoroo who launched the circus troupe said that these kids were ‘dumped by the society’. Everyone was scared to get close to them.
However, Tojil and his wife took a leap of faith and decided to use their experience as circus artists and teach the kids. However they didn’t just teach them how to do backflips or how to juggle, this initiative had a bigger mission. They wanted to keep these kids off the streets and off the trouble, to give them an opportunity to develop social skills and eventually have a career.
The beginning was very difficult, for both – the teachers and the students. New students used to get bullied by other street kids and even their families. As a result, they started skipping lessons. Tojil started ‘bribing’ them with food, which means that those who came to their ‘circus school’ got fed. The catering, studio hire, equipment and costumes were all covered by Tojil and his wife. The couple struggles financially, however they have no intentions of giving up on the kids and instead they use their creativity. In example, Tojil made juggling clubs out of ketchup bottles and his wife hand sewed all the costumes. The circus troupe lived like this for 3 years.
You are probably wondering why are we talking about this circus troupe? Because we think every one of us can learn so much from this story. First of all, that not everyone is born privileged. Not everyone has a choice to pave their lives, get educated and choose their careers. However, that doesn’t mean that these kids don’t want to learn or that they are lazy as the society would like to portrait them. Quite on a contrary, as this example shows, these kids wanted to learn. They said to Tojil that ‘they didn’t want to steal’ but that was the only thing they knew how to do. And all they really needed was for someone to believe in them, to teach them a skill and give them a support system. Thanks to Tojil, his wife and their kind hearts, these kids’ lives have been changed forever.
This year our Vintage Circus Showcase will be in aid of raising money for the Mongolian Street Kids Circus.