Circus of Postcards: Building the Future for African Street Children

A girl contortionist from Arba Minch Circus performing a handstand on the excavator while surprised men are watching, Arba Minch, Ethiopia, photo by Ivan Kralj

Arba Minch Circus is a social circus group from the same-named town in Ethiopia. I presented them to you for the first time a couple of months ago in the article Arba Minch Circus: Acrobatics Saving the Street Kids. The time has come to support the better perspectives of these hard-training children, many of whom are raised by the street or dysfunctional families! For that reason, I am launching a project named Circus of Postcards, with this dreamy idea that a series of well-connected small actions can create enormous effects.

Postcards portraying the Arba Minch Circus will be printed and sold, with the profits of the project going towards improving the training facilities for these kids. In this period of buying gifts for everyone around us, can we try to do something non-consumerist? Something that changes lives? I hope you can jump on this good-cause train, as your support is essential! Read on to learn how you can help!

One of the "Circus of Postcards" postcard: Contortionist girl from Arba Minch Circus feeding a donkey in an unusual backbending pose, Arba Minch, Ethiopia, photo by Ivan Kralj
This postcard could be yours! Available only through the Circus of Postcards project!

Circus of Postcards – what is it?

If you’ve read about Arba Minch Circus, you’ve learned that their training hall is more of a shed, with an earth floor (unless it rains and becomes mud) and holes in the walls and roof. Sometimes they pull their mats into the courtyard covered with tin debris, and then they train outside. They do consider this to be their circus home. But while they might be used to their homes and sometimes families standing on weak legs, I know there is an easy way for us to support their circus dreams and upgrade this story. Not just because we might like the idea of the circus, but because this particular circus is literally saving the lives of these children seduced by the dangers of street life!

So I thought: why don’t we build a better circus for them? I know that their teacher Tesfahun Mergia has put a lot of effort into motivating these children to see that the future could have a better face. I know we can support this cause too. Let’s build a circus of – postcards! Well, not literally. Unlike the house of cards, this Circus of Postcards will hold on! The idea is that with a small act of buying a postcard, we can contribute to building a better training facility for African social circus.

Buy postcards, send them to other people, and promote the cause further! Every brick in the wall counts!

I know there is an easy way for us to support their circus dreams and upgrade this story!

How to get involved?

Each batch will include nine postcards with different motives, all depicting Arba Minch Circus performing what they know best in the streets of their town.

The minimum order will be 10 of these, which means that the minimal package will contain 90 postcards.

The price of each postcard will be 1 Euro, which means that the minimum order will cost 90 Euros.

I want to help Ethiopian street children, but can I not order less?

Circus of Postcards is a fundraising project primarily aiming to distribute postcards at various festivals, performing arts venues, and similar places where regular audiences could buy them.

As much as I would like it to be possible to send small numbers of individual postcards around the world, that would make the project complicated, and with the related shipping costs probably economically unreasonable.

One of the "Circus of Postcards" postcard: Arba Minch Circus acrobats performing on the carousel debris in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, photo by Ivan Kralj
Is it possible to build the circus out of postcards? Let’s see!

However, after we dispatch the postcards to the initial buyers (festivals, venues, etc.), we can undoubtedly publish the list of those, if they will be reselling the postcards to their audiences. In this case, you will be able to buy one postcard of your choice. Or more.

In this first round, we want to focus on fundraising for the project most quickly and simply.

That means the minimum order is 90 postcards. But of course, you are welcome to order 180, 270, 360… Or 900, if you like! The more postcards you order, the more we will be able to help.

In case your support for the project surpasses all expectations and actual financial needs for the reconstruction of the training hall, we will transfer the surplus of funds towards other African social circuses in need.

Who is behind this project?

The Circus of Postcards project will be executed by the Croatian NGO – Mala performerska scena. It is an association that has existed since 2004 and has been developing many circus projects in Croatia and abroad.

I, Ivan Kralj, will be contributing to the project with the photography and graphic design of the postcards.

Croatian print company Grafokor will be partially sponsoring the print – with 50 percent of the costs. So the more we order, the more they will sponsor!

Now, it’s all on – you! Let’s do this!

OK, how do I order the postcards?

One of the "Circus of Postcards" postcards: Arba Minch Circus acrobats performing in the street of Arba Minch, Ethiopia, while the surprises passers-by watch, photo by Ivan Kralj
Surprise someone with the circus postcard, the same way how Arba Minch Circus surprised the citizens of their town when they performed acrobatics in the street for this project

Update: The fundraising for the Circus of Postcards through Mala performerska scena accounts has been closed in 2020. While this project has officially finished, there are still ways to support social circus initiatives, and even purchase the remaining unsold printed postcards from this project. Reach out to [email protected] if you wish to support the Arba Minch Circus.

On behalf of Arba Minch Circus, I thank you for your participation! Pipeaway will be following the execution of this project, so stay tuned!

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Arba Minch Circus contortionist girls backbending while squeezed into the closet displayed in the street of Arba Minch, Ethiopia. "Circus of Postcards" is a fundraising project to build better training facilities for this social circus. Help it out by buying postcards with images displaying their acrobatic talent!

Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia


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the whistling signal for the ship about to
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Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


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