Blog Posting

Join THIS Circus! Help Build a Just, Resourceful & Creative Society with the Circus Debre Berhan

by Naomi House

Join THIS Circus!
Help Build a Just, Resourceful & Creative Society
with Award winning & the 1st Ethiopian Professional Circus,
the Circus Debre Berhan

T160k Circus Debre Berhan color jugglingHelp spread the social message of community, equality, and strength for all! Join this Circus!


Circus Debre Berhan combines amazing feats of acrobatic entertainment with messages of social value, demonstrated in part by their employment of physically disadvantaged and deaf performers. Now the Circus is taking a new approach to their work, partnering with crowdfunder T160k to build an international community of supporters and funders to continue and advance their work. The Circus bas been performing in the Ethiopian town of Debre Berhan since 1998 and collaborating with partners in Sweden and the Netherlands.


But what really sets this troupe apart is how they have embraced messages and spread positive message about empowerment of women, AIDs prevention, and the role of people with disabilities in their culture. The Circus is also becoming a center for cultural exchange and sharing of knowledge with performers from around the world, as well as providing a place for young people to develop useful skills and personal confidence.

t160k Circus Debre Berhan street scene 1Recently awarded by their partners Angereds Teater, Gothenburg, Sweden for their collaboration on CARGO, the Circus has also been winning awards for years. They were awarded the Ethiopian Gymnastic championship twice in the female category, as well as twice won a regional traditional music competition championship, been the Silver medalist in Male category in Ethiopian Gymnastic championship, and awarded by the Ethiopian government recognition that the organization is the future of Ethiopian youth activity.


T160k is a Washington State Social Purpose Corporation that’s dedicated to using technology to help create communities around exciting cultural work in Africa and to contribute resources to this work. The organization allows people to learn about projects through the web site and to contribute funds to them. Supporters receive perks in return for their support, ranging from the satisfaction of a simple “thank you” to the opportunity to meet the people and take part in the work on the ground in Africa.

T160k Circus Debere Berhan Ethiopia basket 1The first professional circus in the country, Circus Debre Berhan promotes culture-compatible circus arts and foster the holistic development of the youths they train. The circus’ goal is to help them move toward a future as socially responsible citizens.
If you’d like more information about T160K, Circus Debre Berhan or any of our other projects/campaigns, or to schedule an interview with Stephanie, Tony or Naomi please email or send us a Tweet @T160K.


T160K Bios:

Stephanie Diakité, EVP:

For many years, Stephanie Diakité, T160K founder and Vice President for Everything, has been working as a transformational development specialist in more than 40 sub-Saharan African countries. She concentrates on building capacity in key areas of human rights based socio-economic development where culture and gender play decisive roles. You can find out more about her work and share your ideas and contributions on her websites at and


To support the safeguarding of the scholarship contained in the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu subsequent to the political and social upheaval that rocked Mali between 2012 and 2013, Stephanie began T160K – the Timbuktu Libraries in Exile Knowledge Initiative in collaboration with her friend and colleague Abdel Kader Haidara of SAVAMA DCI.


She and Abdel Kader evacuated more than 400,000 manuscripts from Timbuktu and T160K successfully implemented a crowd sourcing activity to raise funds for urgent conservation work in the corpus of evacuated manuscripts. These experiences motivated Stephanie to increase the scope of T160K to enable people world-wide to support a large variety cultural patrimony and heritage initiatives and the principles of human rights based culture and sustainable development.


Stephanie may be reached at for interview requests or further info.



Tony Dowler, CEO:

A Seattle-based consultant, writer, and artist, Tony Dowler became involved in crowdfunding as a way to support his own creative projects and those of others. In 2013, he organized T160k’s successful crowdfunding campaign to help fund the preservation of the Timbuktu manuscripts.


Before joining T160k, Tony worked for 15 years as a technical marketing consultant and writer. In his spare time, Tony enjoys drawing, painting, board games, and playing the banjo. You can follow him on Twitter at @t160kTony.


Tony may be reached at for interview requests or further info.


Naomi House, CMO:

Naomi comes to T160k after a decade in libraries and information centers and after founding the popular LIS (library and information science) jobs site, INALJ grew from 6 subscribers to 9 million page views in a few short years through grassroots marketing campaigns and community building, things that drew her to T160k and its community. She is excited to be able to share projects she is passionate about and looks forward to building this community and sharing the incredible projects of our partners. Find her @T160k and @T160kNaomi.
In addition to her work community building Naomi is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker. She has spoken at the National Press Club and Library of Congress, both in Washington, D.C., the American University in the Emirates, Dubai, UAE, in Alaska and Hawaii and presented over 40 other places as well. In fact, Naomi and T160k founder Stephanie Diakité, met in February of 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa when they served on the same breakout panel at a library conference (Stephanie was also the keynote speaker). That chance meeting and a long bus ride back from dinner sparked a conversation and Naomi’s involvement in T160K. Kismet!
Naomi is active in many professional associations including, Ellevate Network, ALA (American Library Association), SLA (Special Libraries Association), Women in Technology, and Beta Phi Mu.


Naomi may be reached at for interview requests or further info.


Teklu Ashagir, Circus Director:
Circus Director/ Executive & Artistic Director at the Circus Debre Berhan in Debre Berhan, Ethiopia.

Follow the Circus on @Nebebew and on Facebook.


Photos and video that may be used with permission:


Attribution for all photos:

COPYRIGHT © 2014:circusdb


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