Cirque Jeunesse en Equilibre’s (CJE) project in Africa is a social circus and African arts project that uses the arts as social intervention with the underprivileged youth of Houndé, Burkina Faso since 2010.
CLICK HERE for video of PROJECT LAMOSSO, CJE’s Fourth Edition Social Circus Intensive
In January 2010, with many years of experience as a social circus instructor under his belt, project founder Mamoudou Diallo (link to his bio. that says “Bio.” in brackets after his name) travelled back to his hometown of Houndé, Burkina Faso from Canada where he is a permanent resident to launch a set of initiatory social circus workshops designed to provide an enriching and balancing experience for local youth. This series of workshops was supported by Cirque du Monde (of Cirque du Soleil) who donated the necessary circus supplies for the workshops.
In 2012, CJE was officially registered in Quebec, Canada as a not for profit organization with the goal of continuing the project with the youth of Houndé as well as social circus activities in Canada.
In April 2015, thanks to Fondation LOJIQ and the contributions of CJE administrators, CJE was finally able to send founder Mamoudou Diallo, along with a shipment of circus supplies back to Houndé to run a Second Edition Social Circus Intensive with the youth of Houndé !! This time CJE and Mamoudou worked in partnership with L’Association Culture et Développement du Tuy et la Haut Commision de Houndé offering three weeks of intensive extra curricular activities involving, circus and traditional African arts that were very well received by an overwhelming number of participants!
CJE was also officially registered at a local level in 2015 to facilitate the continuation of their activities in Houndé.
In May 2016, again with contributions made by CJE administrators, CJE produced a Third Edition Social Circus Intensive in partnership with L’Association Culture et Developpement du Tuy et la Haut Commision de Houndé. This edition was taught by Ben Abdoulaye Fofoana, an experienced social circus instructor brought in from the Ivory Coast and was again received by a great number of participants who waited in anticipation for more CJE activities in Houndé!
In June and July 2018, with the contributions of CJE administrators and funding from the Austrian Development Agency, CJE produced a Fourth Edition Social Circus Intensive lasting two months. With this additional funding CJE was able to include a touring and social outreach component. The participants presented their show in seven different neighbourhoods of the community of Houndé. This phase of the project served to further reinforce participants self esteem and competencies in circus arts as well as acting as social outreach to community members by spreading awareness about the positive effects on the community of such projects.
CJE’s current project is the construction of Espace Garage Cirque, a social circus centre in Houndé that would enable our activities to continue on a regular and long-term basis. The municipality of Houndé has accorded CJE the land on which to build and CJE is working hard to obtain the necessary funds with which to build Espace Garage Cirque.
Projet Lamosso, CJE’s Fourth Edition Social Circus Intensive, 2018:
Circus Arts and African Masks, CJE’s Second Edition Social Circus Intensive, 2015:
The Planting of a Seed, CJE’s primary series of workshops that Mamoudou conducted in 2010. Houndé’s initiation to social circus: