In 2010 circus professionals Robyn Simpson, Sky Neal, and Mark Perrin worked along side Philip Holmes (now Freedom Matters) and Tristan Forster (FSI Worldwide) to explore a social circus pilot in Kathmandu. Being responsive to what the young people wanted, and the potential and enthusiasm shown, the development of Sapana resulted in the establishment of a professional performing group: Circus Kathmandu. They have worked alongside leading anti-trafficking charities, NGO’s and organisations to ensure the best practice and local understanding. Since 2002 these organisations have been involved in upwards of 350 young Nepali’s being rescued from bonded labor situations in Indian circuses.
Those that chose to continue are now the members of Circus Kathmandu and have been performing locally throughout the year. Sapana continues as a social circus, outreach and training programme. Circus Kathmandu is contributing to the developing performing arts industry in Nepal by creating an exciting, high-quality contemporary circus company, and promoting the best of Nepali entertainment to the rest of the world. They aim to engage local audiences in learning about the magic of contemporary circus and sharing the pride of these hugely talented young Nepalese adults.
Circus Kathmandu works closely with leading anti-trafficking and children’s rights organisations and are supported by the circus community around the world to establish an ethical performing company and social circus programme underpinned by best practice. Circus Kathmandu and Sapana have been supported by UK-based charities The Esther Benjamins Trust, Freedom Matters and Nepal based charity Sano Paila as the programme developed from a pilot to a social enterprise.