Zip Zap Circus School Trust

In brief

The SOL Foundation assists Zip Zap Circus School Trust with the 2nd CHANCE programme, a circus arts programme and workshops for students creating a fun learning environment experiencing teamwork and building trust.

Problem to be tackled

South Africa socio-economic realities are stark – high poverty with 49.2% of adults living below the upper-bound poverty line of $70.90 per month; and a high youth unemployment rate of 43.2% for youth aged 15–34 (Stats SA, 2019). These factors were exacerbated by low economic growth in South Africa even before the Covid pandemic, and as youth struggle to find work, they eventually become disenfranchised which compounds their ability to move out of poverty. South Africa also has a large youth population with 45.76% (26.72 million) of the population under the age of 25 (Statistica, 2019).

Local partner

The 2nd CHANCE programme offers circus workshops that include tumbling, trapeze, wire walking and mini-trampoline to increase physical fitness, balance and muscle strength, juggling to enhance hand-eye coordination and pyramid and partner work to improve teamwork and communication.

The Zip Zap team makes the activity fun, entertaining and slightly adapted to each age group to develop stronger and active children which encourages exercise and overall wellbeing. Without this exposure, some children might also never discover that they are physically talented in acrobatics or even understand the value of exercise in creating a healthy lifestyle.


The 2nd CHANCE programme targets youth from under-resourced areas where children have extremely limited access to safe and free of charge extramural activities due to the socio-economic challenges faced by the communities.

SOL’s contribution

With the support from The SOL Foundation, Zip Zap Circus will be able to implement the so-called 2nd CHANCE programme, which provides physical circus activities to students from all schools in the Cape district during the project period.

Project partner

Zip Zap Circus, established in 1992, operates in Cape Town targeting at-risk youth from South Africa’s poorest communities. Through various programmes the aim is to provide life skills, enhanced physical fitness and mental wellness, social cohesion and employment opportunities utilising the circus arts.

Zip Zap’s mission is to inspire and empower young people from all walks of life to pursue their dreams through circus arts, and through this unlock potential and transfer skills for life.