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Chinese school trains acrobatic talents for developing countries

(People's Daily Online)    16:22, July 13, 2018

Hikma practices in the school.

Hikma Baharu, a 16-year-old girl from Ethiopia, is one of a number of students from developing countries that currently study acrobatics at the Wuqiao Acrobatic Art School in north China’s Hebei Province, which is famous for its training in circus and performance arts.

Hikma studies the art of acrobatic hoop performance at the school. “There are no women circus performers in Africa just now. My goal is to be the first. I never feel bitter about training,” she said, instead feeling lucky to be enrolled in the school. “Many excellent acrobats in our country have trained here. It became a dream to many, including me," she added excitedly.

When students arrive at the school, teachers choose learning programs that best suit the individual according to their physical ability and personal preferences.

After a year of continuous training, Hikma is now able to perform on stage. “I can hardly believe that my dream has come true so quickly. It wouldn’t have been possible without receiving guidance from my qualified teachers,” she noted.

The teachers look after the students, taking them to hospital if they get hurt during rehearsals and treating them just like their own children.

Since 2002, the school has trained about 400 acrobats from over 20 developing countries including Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Venezuela and Zambia. About 100 graduates from the school are currently performing around the world, everywhere from Germany to the U.S., earning up to 300,000 yuan ($45,000) per year. Some also set up their own acrobatic troupes after graduation, creating jobs for the younger generation in Africa.

Wherever they go, they perform the acrobatic skills acquired in China, president of the school Qi Zhiyi noted, adding that providing the training not only brought the students an income, but changed their lives and helped to solve employment problems in developing countries. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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