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Worldview

Global Activism: CircEsteem Hosts Social Circus from Indonesia

On Thursdays, Worldview presents Global Activism, where we meet people who want to make the world a better place. Today we feature CircEsteem, a Chicago-based social circus. Founded by Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey clown Paul Miller, they use “the art of practicing and performing circus to bring youth together from...various at-risk groups living in precarious personal and social situations”. CircEsteem executive director Dan Roberts spent his teenage years in Indonesia. After high school, he worked at CircEsteem during summers. His passion grew from that experience, leading Dan back to Jakarta, Indonesia. He would form his own social circus (Red Nose Foundation). Red Nose kids are the children of fisherman and scavengers - who pick through garbage cans looking for plastics to sell to factories.  Their families survive on $30-$60 a month, much less than Jakarta’s minimum wage ($280). We’ll hear from some Red Nose kids Dan brought to Chicago this summer. Dan will also talk about his life’s journey from Indonesia to CircEsteem, an organization he calls “a home away from home for so many of our youth…[where] they build bonds by actually lifting each other up in the air and physically catching each other when they fall.”

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