AcroSports Zanzibar

Since 2006, AcroSports has been supporting disadvantaged youth on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, Africa.

Through cash donations and staff trips to the island, we have been able to provide teacher trainings, event sponsorship, acrobatic equipment and gear, and most recently, toward the building and development of the Zanzibar School of AcroSports.

AcroSports’ relationship with Zanzibar began when our Executive Director, Dorrie Huntington, journeyed to Moshi, Tanzania, to volunteer for a week at the TunaHAKI Centre for Street Children.  TunaHAKI is a shelter for orphans and abandoned children who have been rescued from the streets, and who were performing acrobatics and circus arts. 

During this visit, Dorrie took a side trip to the island of Zanzibar, and met a group of boys on the beach that were doing flips and other tricks off of a large tire wedged in the sand, and landing in the Indian Ocean.  The acrobatic feats the boys demonstrated were quite remarkable, and they always drew crowds of tourists that were thoroughly entertained by the boys’ ingenuity and impressive tumbling skills.  While still in Zanzibar, Dorrie managed to meet with the Ministry of Culture, with whom she discussed the boys' talent and ways in which their continued acrobatic training could be supported, and also with the managers of several hotels to discuss the possibility of the boys entertaining tourists for compensation. Upon departing the island, Dorrie promised to stay in touch and support them in any way feasible.

In 2008 - two years after Dorrie’s initial trip to Tanzania - Zanzibar Stone Town Capoeira (ZSTC) was founded.  An acrobatic, breakdance and Capoeira crew, this group included some of the original acrobats Dorrie had met on the beach. Two years later, in June 2010, AcroSports was able to sponsor three instructors to travel to Zanzibar to provide a week of training, two sessions per day, for members of the ZSTC .  This was the first time the youth there had ever received any sort of formal acrobatic training.   

The following year, in collaboration with local Bay Area organization, AcroSports sent three master artists to train the ZSTC youth in several disciplines including acrobatics, capoeira, and breakdancing.  Then again, in 2012, AcroSports sent three of our lead coaches to Zanzibar to train the youth that Dorrie met on the beach back in 2006.  One full week of workshops in breakdancing, tumbling, partner acro and Capoeira were taught to over 20 youth ages 14-20.  

In 2016, our Executive Director formally invited several of the advanced ZSTC students to visit AcroSports in SF to participate in extensive training in acrobatics, parkour, breakdancing and circus arts. The goal was to enable them to bring the skills they learned back to Zanzibar, and teach the children in StoneTown and surrounding rural villages in Tanzania. After several failed attempts to acquire them Visas, however, that opportunity unfortunately never came to fruition.

Shortly thereafter, ZSTC was renamed Zanzibar School of AcroSportsIn 2017, the school hosted its first series of public workshops for youth (see flyer below) attracting nearly 100 participants. 

Since 2006, AcroSports has been supporting disadvantaged youth on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, Africa. Through cash donations and staff trips to the island, we have been able to provide teacher trainings, event sponsorship, acrobatic equipment and gear, and most recently, toward the building and development of the Zanzibar School of AcroSports.

AcroSports’ relationship with Zanzibar began when our Executive Director, Dorrie Huntington, journeyed to Moshi, Tanzania, to volunteer for a week at the TunaHAKI Centre for Street Children.  TunaHAKI is a shelter for orphans and abandoned children who have been rescued from the streets, and who were performing acrobatics and circus arts. 

During this visit, Dorrie took a side trip to the island of Zanzibar, and met a group of boys on the beach that were doing flips and other tricks off of a large tire wedged in the sand, and landing in the Indian Ocean.  The acrobatic feats the boys demonstrated were quite remarkable, and they always drew crowds of tourists that were thoroughly entertained by the boys’ ingenuity and impressive tumbling skills.  While still in Zanzibar, Dorrie managed to meet with the Ministry of Culture, with whom she discussed the boys' talent and ways in which their continued acrobatic training could be supported, and also with the managers of several hotels to discuss the possibility of the boys entertaining tourists for compensation. Upon departing the island, Dorrie promised to stay in touch and support them in any way feasible.=

In 2008 - two years after Dorrie’s initial trip to Tanzania - Zanzibar Stone Town Capoeira (ZSTC) was founded.  An acrobatic, breakdance and Capoeira crew, this group included some of the original acrobats Dorrie had met on the beach. Two years later, in June 2010, AcroSports was able to sponsor three instructors to travel to Zanzibar to provide a week of training, two sessions per day, for members of the ZSTC .  This was the first time the youth there had ever received any sort of formal acrobatic training.   

The following year, in collaboration with local Bay Area organization, AcroSports sent three master artists to train the ZSTC youth in several disciplines including acrobatics, capoeira, and breakdancing.  Then again, in 2012, AcroSports sent three of our lead coaches to Zanzibar to train the youth that Dorrie met on the beach back in 2006.  One full week of workshops in breakdancing, tumbling, partner acro and Capoeira were taught to over 20 youth ages 14-20.  

In 2016, our Executive Director formally invited several of the advanced ZSTC students to visit AcroSports in SF to participate in extensive training in acrobatics, parkour, breakdancing and circus arts. The goal was to enable them to bring the skills they learned back to Zanzibar, and teach the children in StoneTown and surrounding rural villages in Tanzania. After several failed attempts to acquire them Visas, however, that opportunity unfortunately never came to fruition.

Shortly thereafter, ZSTC was renamed Zanzibar School of AcroSportsIn 2017, the school hosted its first series of public workshops for youth (see flyer below) attracting nearly 100 participants. 

Today, Zanzibar AcroSports Head Teacher, Fahad Ali Yussuf, is overseeing efforts to finish the construction of their school building, while continuing to teach his regular students, as well as tourists visiting the island.  We stay in regular contact with our Zanzibar family, and look forward to continuing to support them however we can.

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Your donations reduce our outstanding credits, which total over $100,000, and offer much needed support during these unprecedented times.

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