In the Wings to Fly – Social Circus Empowers activities, the youth use social circus to find their own strengths and to strengthen their life skills, such as self-esteem, social skills and courage to take action. When learning circus skills, youth with immigrant background learn Finnish and get to know native Finnish youth in a fun manner, which again increases their well-being.

Positive experiences of participation and enthusiasm give youth tools that help them when they are moving on the further paths in their lives, be it in hobbies or volunteering.

Developing methods and operational models

In the Wings to Fly – Social Circus Empowers project, youth with immigrant background can strengthen their life skills, learn more about the Finnish language and culture and get to know native Finnish youth through social circus. Circus instructors working with youth share their successes, solve challenges and learn about their own activities during development days held twice a year. A researcher from the Youth Research Society is doing developmental research on the project’s activities. Material for development work is collected based on the experiences and observations of all parties involved in implementing the project.

Forging a path forward

Through low-threshold beginners’ groups, youth can join the activities and later participate in free training groups. Permanent service and funding models are continuously sought after during the project to ensure the activities in future. Circus activities also provide youth an excellent chance to connect to new social groups and, in this way, find skills for working and school life.

Disseminating methods and operational models

Lessons and good practices learned through the Wings to Fly – Social Circus Empowers project about youth working with art are gathered together on the program’s website, method guide and research report. The collected information will be distributed in the project’s training programs and seminars to those working with youth with immigrant background.

Developing expertise in the field

An operating model is developed and piloted during the project. After the project, the model can be used and developed further by any actors in the field. The methods used in the workshops are developed and assessed in cooperation with different project partners. The methods are developed and shared also among the project participants during annual development days and through continuous assessment. A model supporting transitionary phases will be derived from the practical operations as a result of the development work.