We noticed that you are using an older version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. This website is optimised for Internet Explorer version 9 and later, so please consider upgrading your browser so that you can enjoy all of this website's features. Visit the Microsoft website http://www.microsoft.com to download a newer version of Internet Explorer.

European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


AFS-Circus Atelier SALTO vzw

EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
EVS accreditation expiry date 01/10/2016
Location Tienen, Belgium
Organisation topics
Art and culture
Education through sport and outdoor activities
Inclusion topics

EVS accreditation number


For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

Please note, information about organisations and projects is only available in English.
Project Environment

Outline the project environment for the suggested voluntary Service, including the local community where the project will take place (e.g. geographical, social and economical environment). If the host placement is located in a live-in community, please include the rules and conditions that apply also for the volunteer.
The project environment is located in Tienen/Hoegaerden (the distance between those two places contains about 5 km)
Tienen and Hoegaerden are situated in the region Vlaams-Brabant, the heart of Belgium.
In Hoegaerden there is a rural environment with a lot of orchards, hence: the country side. It is located at the Dutch-French language border. Tienen (also known as Sugar Town) is a small city with a lot of cafes, restaurants, shops,... but with moderate acitivities for young people. If you want to get in touch with young people or students, you have to go to Louvain (only 10 minutes by train from Tienen) which is the capital city for students. In Louvain you will be able to participate at a lot of cultural (music, theatre, movie, ...) or sport activities.
Once a week we go to Brussels (the capital of Belgium) where Tom Cools is teaching at the Circusschool of Brussels. The volunteer will be able to participate at the highly professional classes together with the students of Ecole De Cirque De Bruxelles. http://www.ecoledecirquedebruxelles.be/

Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
Please explain:
• what you can offer to volunteers in terms of Service and learning opportunities,
• what will be the role of EVS volunteers in the Host Organisation,
• the activities in which the volunteers could be involved and the activities the volunteers could create in your organisation. Please give examples of typical activities/tasks for the volunteers.
The volunteer can:
- help in our daily pedagogical mission: assisting during the circus classes, guidance of the kids and youngsters, keeping an eye on the safety of our children. Please consult our accurate schedule to get an idea of our weekly activities.
- join us on different, changing locations to assist with our circus workshops
- join us when there are perfomances of our production group (Cie Parti) and take care of the logistic support
- helping with the maintenance of our materials (fixing, painting, repairing)
- administrative help at the office
Learning opportunities:
The volunteer will work intensively on the circus theme. He/she will learn a lot of circus skills (juggling, riding on a unicycle, acrobatics etc.). The volunteer will learn how to guide kids and youngsters in a pedagogical way. Because we work a lot on different locations, the volunteer gets the opportunity to see Belgium. The volunteer will get a very good view on the Belgian culture and our way of living. The volunteer will work with kids and youngsters; that's why he/she must be able to learn Dutch very intensive and very fast. Because we are located at the Dutch-French language border, some French will be used as well. But this is limited. The volunteer will learn some administrative skills.
Role EVS volunteer:
The volunteer will mainly assist during the circus classes for children and younsters.
For example:
- At different, changing locations helping us with the explanation of circus techniques, show the students how to do certain tricks, guiding the children and to make sure all our material gets back on the right place after the classes.
- During performances: logistic support, taking care of the music, taking care of our material
- To repare our material, small and easy administrative work
The schedule below is an example of all possible activities that can take place during the week. Only the fixed classes are repeating every week. The other activities depend on the demand; we don’t know in advance which projects we will get.
This schedule contains more hours than a regular work week. EVS volunteers will work a maximum of 35 hours per week.

10 - 12: work at the office, making Phone calls, replying to mails, making contracts et.
12 - 15: Private Acroportee lessons given to a circus Group.
Maintenance of our materials
17 - 21: CIRCUS CLASSES (ages 11 to 12), acro and adults

9 - 11: fixed Acro lessons( pedagogic circus school Brussels )tour & Taxis Brussels.
The rest of the day is either administrative work/logistic jobs or free time.

9 - 12: contract for a sports day at an elementary school in Hoegaarden.
14 - 20: CIRCUS CLASSES: ages 6 to 8, 9 to 11 and every age

9 - 12: CIRCUS CLASSES: fixed classes in the Freinet school of Zoutleeuw
17 - 21: CIRCUS CLASSES: fixed classe unicycling level 1 and 2 and Acro.

9 - 12: contract sports day at the atheneum of Tienen
13 - 16: Private Acroportee lessons given to a circus Group.
Maintenance of our materials
17 – 21.30: CIRCUS CLASSES: fixed lessons juggling, trapeze level 1 and 2, circus theatre

9.30 – 13.30: CIRCUS CLASSES: fixed classes circo motorics( parents and toddlers), ages 6-11
13.30 - 18: ESAC weekend: in ESAC: ecole superieure aux arts du cirque in Brussels.

10 - 17: ESAC weekend: in ESAC: ecole superieure aux arts du cirque at Brussels
The volunteer will get 2 days off each month. The volunteer needs to inform the project about the exact dates that he/she would like to take off. He/she should also take in account the dates of special activities of the project .
The coordinating host organisation AFS will organise language courses. The volunteer will receive 30 hours of Dutch lessons spread over the 8 or 10 first weeks of the project.

Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
Please describe the profiles of volunteers you would like to receive in your organisation. Include information on how you ensure an open and transparent recruitment process as well as the overall accessibility of EVS to all young people. Consider further information about the type of Sending Organisation you want to cooperate with. This information can help the match-making between volunteer candidates, Sending Organisations and your organisation.
We are looking for a young, healthy and sportive person who likes to work with children and youngsters. We expect an open attitude, eager to learn new things, sporty and empathic towards kids. The sooner the volunteer learns Dutch, the better. It will make contact with the children much more easy and stronger.
AFS, the coordinating host organisation, strongly believes in the intercultural learning aspect of an EVS-experience. Therefore, the volunteer will be living with a volunteer host family, as we believe this is the best introduction to Flemish culture and a great opportunity to integrate in the local community. Candidates should be willing to share in the host family's daily life (spend some free time with them, occasionally join the family on activities outside the house, eat together, give a helping hand in the household... ) and should be motivated to live with and learn about Flemish people of different ages and opinions. They should also be willing to adapt to the local eating habits. On the other hand, we guarantee a family that is interested to learn about your culture and background and that respects your values and beliefs. Living in a host family is an excellent opportunity for both the participant and the family to broaden their cultural horizons! Our sending partners will emphasize this host family stay reality to all potential volunteers and will provide enough information and a chance to talk with someone with experience with living in a host family. All our sending partners have a lot of experience with host family stay programs and can provide all necessary information about it. The sending partners will ask all candidates who already know they prefer to live independently, to refrain from applying for this project.

In the proces of sending and hosting EVS volunteers, we have a fixed partnership with AFS partners. Because of their thorough experience regarding screening volunteers, preparing them for an intercultural experience and follow up, we can expect quality and guarantee quality to our participants. We hope to work with more AFS partners in the future.

Number of volunteers hosted:
Please state the maximum number of volunteers your organisation is able to host at the same time (ensuring all quality, learning, and welfare standards of EVS for each volunteer):

Risk prevention, protection and safety:
Please describe:
• how you will guarantee a safe living and working environment for the EVS volunteers,
• how you will prevent risks and crises,
• how – in the case of EVS volunteers aged 16 or 17 – you ensure appropriate supervision, protection and safety.
The work is not very risky. We apply all possible security rules for the children (same as the classes of Physical Education at school). Our common rule is to think ahead to avoid any injuries or accidents.
The volunteer will never be left alone. There will always be a supervisor present.
The project will assign a personal mentor / contact person to the participant, so he/she can always ask this person for help or guidance.
All volunteers are insured through European Benefits Administrators (AXA) during their entire stay.
AFS, as coordinating host organisation will give every project and every participant a local contact person, that will stay in contact and will regularly ask for an evaluation to improve the situation for all parties. In case of emergency, AFS has an emergency-mobile phone, which can be reached 24h/24h, in case of emergencies.

Motivation and EVS experience

We have worked for 3 years now with EVS volunteers. We - at the circus school - see it as a win-win situation, both for us as well as for the volunteer. We have a lot of information to share and in return we would get an insight into a new culture, we would get a new point of view and fresh ideas.
For our youngsters the contact with an international staff member is a very enriching experience

Description of the organisation

AFS is an international, voluntary, non profit organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more peaceful world. AFS does this through several exchange programs, like EVS.
AFS works in cooperation with several AFS partners in more than 50 countries world wide. On a European level we are represented by the European federation for Intercultural Learning.

Circusschool wants to improve youngsters’ individual, social, motoric and artistic development. In addition we want to encourage them to broaden their personal limits and to be more creative. We use circus techniques to obtain these goals.
Circus Atelier Salto vzw is working on 3 different parts:

- Weekly classes for kids, youngsters and adults were circus techniques are taught.
(On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday we organise 18 different classes) - Our accurate schedule can be found in the attachment. During the school holidays there are no weekly classes, but instead we organise circus camps that will take place from Monday till Friday from 9:00 am till 16:00 pm.
- Circus workshops at changing locations (at public events, a sports day at school, a (birthday)party, a team building day,...)
-Artistic part: we support young, talented people and professional artists by lending them our circus space and giving them professional advice, we established our own production group (Cie Parti) with members of Circus Atelier Salto vzw.

For the weekly classes at the circus space there are 6 regular teachers. For most of the classes we provide 2 teachers. One of them is the leader of the group, the other one assists. There is also one person responsible for all our material and logistic support.
Our head office is located in Hoegaerden, a village near the Dutch-French language boundary. Our circus space is located in Tienen, a Flemish city close to Hoegaerden. At the office in Hoegaerden we take care of the administrative work: one person on full time base and one person on a freelance term.
There is no age limit on circus! Our youngest pupil is 4 years old and our oldest member is about 50 years old. However, our main age group will be between 6 and 12 years old.

Contact details
Please note, the selected organisation cooperates with a different EVS organisation to handle enquiries on its behalf.
Organisation name AFS interculturele Programma’s
Street Hendrik Consciencestraat 52
Postal code 2800
Town/city Mechelen
Country Belgium
Email address evs-belgiumflanders@afs.org
Website www.saltotienen.be
Telephone number +32 15 79 50 10
Fax number +32 15 79 50 11

Last update: 08/10/2013