Sisonke is an isiXhosa word meaning “we are together” which exemplifies the vision of the Sisonke Social Circus program.

Through circus skills such as acrobatics, dance, juggling, trapeze, drama and much more, the children learn valuable life skills. Some of the qualities which are developed are communication skills, problem solving, health and safety, as well as developing many other personal qualities such as trust, respect for others and equipment, accountability, responsibility, teamwork, leadership, self-confidence, risk management, empathy as well as physical health, strength, agility, flexibility, dexterity and vitality.

Sisonke Social Circus brings together children ages 7 to 18 from diverse ethnic, socio-economic and cultural communities in the Stellenbosch Valley in Western Cape, South Africa.

If you would like to become a sponsor or donor and help us to keep our dream alive, please email us. Any support makes the world of a difference.

In 2011 Lionel Chanarin and Megan Hislop founded Sisonke Social Circus after a call from the community. Lionel had worked internationally as a professional trapeze artist, acrobat, juggler and clown after graduating from the Zip-Zap circus school, a social circus with similar aims and ideals. Jesyka Sham joined the team as a creative director in 2012 and together with a small team of professional performers, instructors, volunteers and community members Sisonke is growing and adding value and positive impact to the diverse communities.

The impact reaches far further than the core group of 40 participants; performances are taken into communities where the diverse audiences share in the joy which the integrated youth of our rainbow nation brings, inspiring hope, enthusiasm, co-operation and love for one another through our youth. The children glow with enthusiasm and joy as they present their acts. Together they climb higher, support each other and bring so much joy to their audiences.

The support from the community of Sisonkes’ shows has been inspiring. The diversity and enthusiasm of our audiences truly embodies the meaning of Sisonke – Coming Together!

Help us to help – Donate to Sisonke

Sisonke is a NGO that relies on the charity of many people. From helping hands with the costumes and props to driving the kids to shows, …

How can you help? You can deposit money straight into Sisonkes’ account! The money will go towards keeping the project running: food before lessons, fuel for lifting, equipment and so much more! We have many dreams… One day we would like to own our own bus. We would also love to get an airtrack so our children can practice ground acrobatics safely. Help these dream come true by depositing money right now!

EFT Donations: you can use our bank account to donate money to our cause:

BRANCH: 200610
ACC.NO: 62531986802
REFERENCE: Sisonke Donation 0123456789 (your cell number, so that we can contact you to thank you)

Address: The Shed, Santa Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
Lionel 074 991 5615


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