Gabon References

Martin Westbury, Headmaster, Ecole Yenzi wrote:

We all have some ideas of being at the circus but being able to actually have a go yourself, to develop new skills with people who not only know what they are doing but can actually help you learn and make rapid progress is brilliant. You then get to experience all that wonder through the children’s eyes.

The visit of Theaterbureau Giel van Dam enabled the children of Ecole Yenzi to experience acts of daring, like acrobatics and develop their coordination skills such as juggling and plate spinning and riding on mini bikes and a unicycle! The Team works really well with children of all ages, abilities and languages. With demonstrations, words and actions from the team the children quickly gain confidence, improve their abilities and take pride in giving a performance for others.

The visit to Ecole Yenzi by Theaterbureau Giel van Dam can only be described as a rousing success!

Martin Westbury
Ecole Yenzi


Report by Els van Wijk , Dutch teacher Ecole Yenzi in Gabon

Fantastic Circus – Theatre Meatball & van de Camp in Gabon

It started with a converation during one of the training courses of the Dutch Foundation for Education Abroad about the possibility of Theater and/or circus at school!
As a NTC (Dutch Language and Culture) teacher in Gabon I wanted to organize something special, not only for the Dutch, but for the entire international school, Ecole Yenzi.
My information led me to Theaterbureau Giel van Dam and soon we were making plans. There was good communication from the beginning and our plans became reality.
On January 23, 2014 Giel van Dam, Piet van de Camp and Janpier Knaapen left for Gabon.

After their successful visit to the Circus School in Libreville, the theater/circus trio arrived in Gamba on January 25  .
Immediately upon arrival they exuded enthusiasm around the little airport. While waiting for their baggage the juggling balls  already appeared and within five minutes after their arrival they were performing and a little boy stood proudly posing for a photo on a pair of shoulders.

The next day, the theater/circus team conducted a meeting in our gym. Helping teachers and parents were surprised with a speedcourse in how to be a  Circus Artist! Fun, exciting, and good for the joint team spirit.

The next two days children, parents and teachers were at work together with the circus team. Juggling, tightrope walking, the making of pyramids, acrobatics, clown acts, cycling on a bicycle wheel, you name it. All children were given the chance to find his or her own specialty.

After two days of practice and trial and error, the day arrived: a memorable circus show was performed by the children of Ecole Yenzi. The applause of parents echoed on long after …

I ‘m very grateful to Piet, Janpier and Giel for the unforgettable experience they left behind in Gabon.

Els van Wijk


And a nice response from the kindergarten teacher:

Hi Els,

I was a bit anxious about how it would all go with my little ones but Piet was BRILLIANT!!! He was age appropriate and adaptable and did his best to include all the children. There was trepidation when he arrived on Monday and great excitement when he arrived again on Tuesday! (I had not told them he was coming.) Today they were looking for Piet so I said he had gone to play with the children in Gamba.

Some of the mums who attended the circus yesterday mentioned what a great job they had done with all the children at Ecole Yenzi.

Thank you for all your hard work and effort, I know this took up a lot of your time but it was definitely worth it.

Well done!


Open Air Theatre at Ecole Yenzi

After the successful circus theater project the team still had a lot of energy.
A patch of grass between the classrooms of Ecole Yenzi was transformed into a small open air theater. During sunset Janpier Knaapen and Piet van de Camp conducted the special multilingual play ‘The Crown and the fool‘. Young and old enjoyed the whole experience. The impressive costumes,  the circus acts woven into the theatrepiece and the story spoke to the audience.
The theatrepiece ended and the tropical night began, a beautiful and mysterious end to the whole experience.

Report by Els van Wijk, Dutch teacher Ecole Yenzi in Gabon