For Children, Inspired By Children


Our Impact


Social Circus invites everybody regardless age, social, economic or ethnic origin. Youngest students of Sirkhane are called Circus Habibi. Teenage trainers are called Circus HEroes. In Sirkhane, we train circus heroes with social circus pedagogy, who will use the power of laughter and smiles to empower and inspire more children.


500,000 children

Hundreds of thousands of children impacted

In Mardin region there are thousands of marginalized children and youth, including refugees and ethnic minorities. Most of them is deprived of educational opportunities and safe, playfull childhood. Sirkhane is proposing an alternative way of engaging refugee and displaced youth in education through non-formal playful means.


4+2 locations and units

Four centers + two mobile units

Sirkhane leads activities in 4 centers, in Turkey and in Iraq. Two projects of Sirkhane are aimed at reaching rural places of Mesopotamia and Turkey, where children don’t have access to educational resources.


8+ years

years of serving communities


To keep the sparks of childhood alive.

Why do we do this?

We try to prolong the childhood of those children who had to grow up very quickly, due to harsh circumstances that they experience on a daily basis. We work in the areas where it is difficult to be a child and to remain a child. Socio-cultural forces in such communities dictates a child, to grow up fast, stop smiling and dive deeper into stereotypical gender roles. We are a non-political, non-ideological and non-religious organization in places were the aforementioned forces could pressure children and adults to give up their childhood and get involved with numbers, difficulties of life and be an adult sooner than they need to.

Why do we do this?

Our secret of sustainability is based on how we engage our volunteer artists. We are an artist-residency for those, who care enough about the essence of humanity, children. In our vision, true art is in service of those are most in need. But we are interested in artists who have pedagogic background, are sensitive and are looking for “real” inspiration. We bring the best of the best, to meet with our children, form “true” and genuine artistic collaborations with our children and engage them in the process of creating beauty out of darkness and nothing. This is our method of giving tools of expression to children who are desperately in need of expressing themselves and be an active member of their communities.

Our Programs



Introducing circus pedagogy to children helps them get to know themselves better. Learning and training circus skills is beneficial not only for performance but it reflects in everyday life as well. Workshops on different skills such as juggling, acrobatics, aerials, clowning, theater, pyramids are very important to teach children new ways of thinking, creating and playing while expanding their social environment. Training social circus disciplines and entails the basic element of fun and joy. While learning circus disciplines children and young people also have opportunity to develop life skills such as group dynamics, adopting universal values, improving coordination and concentration, developing a healthy personality and healthy social communication skills.


Müzikhane (House of Music in Turkish and Persian), is a social musical school based in Mardin Province, located in the south east of Turkey along the border with Syria. Initiated by San Francisco-Based composer, Sahba Aminikia as part of Flying Carpet Festival in 2018, the school continues to grow to become a cultural learning center for vulnerable children. Müzikhane aims to provide world-class cultural and artistic opportunities to vulnerable children in the same region, while also allowing the magic of their music to spread around the world to places where music and beauty are needed most. We connect artists from all around the world to our children, and they learn from those who have been through horrendous experiences and still keep the fire of hope burning in their hearts.


DARKROOM is an empowering project initiated by Emel Ernalbant, and directed by Syrian artist Serbest Salih, who is a refugee himself and finds love in teaching art of photography to children of deprived areas. The project equips children with inexpensive, pinhole andsimple analogue cameras, teaches them the basics of composition and visual arts and how to develop, print and achieve results out of their own art. The children are encouraged to take photos of their own surroundings, and capture the innocence and the beauty inside their own lives. Serbest also teaches them how to develop their photos, print them and makes exhibitions of their art; a full cycle of artistic experience.


Mobile Programs



There are few activities for children in villages around Mardin. Most families cannot afford to send their daughters and sons to the Sirkhane centres in Mardin or Nusaybin, which offers a wide range of free activities for children. That is why, Sirkhane’s mobile circus named “Galaxi” visits many villages in Mardin and puts on a special circus show for children.

Through the circus activities Sirkhane social workers and child protection specialists can identify what kind of support children need. By working closely with local organisation and government service providers the Sirkhane’s case management team makes sure that children get the support they need.



Sirkhane flying library is a mobile educational, child friendly container that lands on places where children don’t have access to inspiring environments and educational resources. It flies from one location to another with children books, handicrafts, circus, films, educational and joyful activities. Flying library stays in the same location at least a year until it completes it’s mission. Then keeps flying to places where it’s needed most. By bringing together the two most fundamental rights of every child, education and play, flying library carries out psychosocial activities and cultural improvement at locations where children has been through geographical, political, social and economical struggle.



Flying Carpet is a volunteer-based collective of world-class musicians, artists, and visionaries who believe in the power of music as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of children. The Flying Carpet Festival is a festival and a learning platform for artists and children, alike, to create a harmonious experience through music, light, beauty, and truth. We organize festivals specializing in forward thinking design, music and art dedicated towards educating children who need it most. We select musicians, circus and visual artists, and visionaries from all over the world, with the common goal of creating the best possible artistic educational experience for the communities in need.


Our Team


Get Involved

We always need your support in order to keep our school running. There are various ways that you can contribute to our programs.


Volunteer opportunities

You can volunteer for us and teach our children how to fly

Make a Donation

You can also make a tax-deductible donation to our organization.





Role Models