Circus of Postcards Fundraising: 1k Dollars for Arba Minch Circus

Performers from Arba Minch Circus juggling colorful clubs on a carriage pulled by a donkey through the street of their town, while passers-by and tuk-tuk driver observe, Ethiopia, photo by Ivan Kralj

Thanks to donors from all around Europe, the collaboration project between Pipeaway and Mala Performerska Scena managed to gather 1177 US Dollars for the Circus of Postcards. This project in favor of Arba Minch Circus, the Ethiopian social circus that works with local street children, was aiming to fundraise 2000 US Dollars for the purpose of renovating their inadequate training facilities. When we deduce 167 Dollars for banking, shipping, and postcards printing costs (thanks to heavily discounted price by our sponsor – Tiskara Grafokor), the total amount collected and available through the Circus of Postcards fundraising is 1010 Dollars, just above half of the goal!

We will provide 1000 additional postcards to our friends in Ethiopia. When sold, these could bring the rest of the funds needed to complete the project in the fullest!

More than postcards

One of the images in Circus of Postcards fundraising project: Contortionist girl Kefeni Teshome from Arba Minch Circus feeding a donkey in an unusual backbending pose, Arba Minch, Ethiopia, photo by Ivan Kralj
One of the nine postcards in collection shows Kefeni the contortionist feeding a donkey

Both individual donors as well as organizations responded to our call of action. Most of them purchased the postcards, but there were also other ways of supporting the cause!

For instance, one supporter purchased the right to publish one of the photographs in a publication. Another donated an amount without asking anything in return! Both of these examples provided more money in Circus of Postcards piggybank. At the same time, they left more postcards for further selling!

Some of the organizations even announced that once they sell the postcards to their fans and followers, they will forward the collected amount back to the project!

Donors were responding positively from Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, France, Norway, Croatia, and the United Kingdom! It was a united European effort in recognizing the value of social circus work in Africa.

If you wish to support some valuable initiatives in Asia, check these projects dealing with the effects of the pandemic in Cambodia!

1k Dollars – a success or a failure?

But, hey, we collected 1k Dollars only? Is that a success or a failure? I asked myself this question a lot during the last year and a half of fundraising for the Circus of Postcards.

When the richest man in the world is worth 120 billion Dollars, and the whole GDP of Ethiopia is just 84 billion, it’s easy to fall into a trap of questioning the wealth and empathy distribution

There were moments I felt my stomach churning with a building inner anger. Seeing the refusal coming in from a big industry player explaining they don’t have time and resources for external actions, even if the resources here meant the value of a dozen of their show tickets. Experiencing Instagram influencers sharing my photographs and project info, with thousands of likes and comments by amazed followers who “love supporting young women”, and then not supporting with anything but – a virtual heart. Hearing the silence of colleagues working with audiences, lacking trust that their followers could support this cause with a Euro or two.

In the world where Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and the richest man on the planet, is worth 120 billion Dollars, and the whole GDP of Ethiopia is just 84 billion, it is easy to fall into a trap of questioning the wealth and empathy distribution. But it is all irrelevant.

The part of disappointment comes only from the wishful agenda of changing the world. That’s nobody’s business. I rewrote this report as I didn’t think I’m entitled to any kind of moral lecture. In the end, all of us can and do help the world around us as much as we can. Also, nobody can solve the problems of the entire world.

Fixing the world in small steps

Instead of changing the world, we can change its bits and pieces. Essentially, I’m sharing some great news! The Circus of Postcards managed to fundraise for half of the future training hall of Arba Minch Circus, with a possibility to collect even more resources with the remaining postcards and author rights! This has to be an achievement worth celebrating!

If one is willing to shift one’s perspective, and see the world from the shoes of others, the small effort could have an enormous impact

It has thought me a valuable lesson. My modest in-kind contribution through photographing, designing, and managing the project meant the world to someone. There were other projects where I invested much more energy and still the far-reaching outcome could not be compared. Essentially, the lesson is that small effort could have an enormous impact. As long as one is willing to shift one’s perspective, and see the world from the shoes of others. We might not be even aware of the powerful tools of change we all possess.

Circus of Postcards fundraising – is it over?

In case you want to support this cause in some way, feel free to drop an e-mail at [email protected], or join our family of heroes through this link! You can still contribute! In exchange, you can get postcards, the right to use any of the photographs, or even just a thankful smile, if that’s enough!

Last but not least, BIG THANK YOU to those who have already given significant support: Artcena, Terra Vera, Positive Force – ROOM 100, Teatro NecessarioTutti Matti Per Colorno, Circus Xanti, Crying Out Loud, Matko Zekić, Benedetta Agostoni, Stefan Hort. The postcards you purchased became a strong cornerstone of the circus that will rise above!

P.S. This report was presented in US Dollars, as this is the international currency Ethiopians most often refer to. The supporters were all contributing in Euros and Croatian Kunas.

Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia


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* pipe away ['paipǝ'wei] (vt, mar) = to give
the whistling signal for the ship about to
leave the harbor

Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
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