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kanthari » Founders – co-directors

 

Sabriye Tenberken (German)

 

Coming from the margins of society, Sabriye Tenberken developed an intrinsic interest to create ethical social change. She studied Tibetology / Central Asian Sciences at Bonn University. Traveling on horseback through the Himalayas she discovered that Tibetans who in majority are Buddhists have a stigma against people with disabilities. Especially blindness is seen as a punishment for something you have done in your previous life. Accordingly blind children are often neglected, locked away in dark rooms or sent to the streets to beg for money. Experiencing this situation inspired.

 

Sabriye started the first school for the blind in Tibet. This school formed the foundation of Braille Without Borders, an organization that empowers blind people to take their lives in their own hands. In 2005 she co-founded kanthari in Kerala, South of India. kanthari fosters participants from all over the world, who, like Sabriye, have a passion to make the world a better place and strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance. Sabriye is the driving force behind the academic program.

 

Next to being a public speaker, Sabriye is the author of “My path leads to Tibet”, a bestseller that has been translated into 13 languages. She also starred in the award winning documentary ‘BLINDSIGHT’. Sabriye Tenberken became fully blind at age 12.

 

Awards and Recognitions include amongst others;

 

2016 – Sabriye Tenberken received the 2016 Gandhi Darsan International Award

2011 – INCITE Excellence in Social Entrepreneurship Award (board members include Dr Abdul Kalam)

2008 – Gov. of China: One of 15 most influential overseas experts over the past 30 years in China.

2005 – World Economic Forum, Davos (WEF). “Young Global Leader

2005 – Sabriye was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price.

2005 – German President, Dr. Horst Koehler, awarded Sabriye with “Bundesverdienst Kreuz

2004 – Sabriye Tenberken received the Time magazine Asia’s HERO 2004 award.

 

Sabriye has been recognized multiple times for developing the Tibetan Braille Script

 

 

Paul Kronenberg (Dutch)

 

Paul Kronenberg is a “Social-Engineer” and co-founder of Braille Without Borders (BWB) and kanthari. Paul focuses on the running and operational management of both organisations. He has a technical background graduating in mechanical engineering, computer science, commercial technology and data-communication system science and gained practical experience while working for different organizations in development projects in Africa, Eastern Europe and Tibet.

 

Next to being a public speaker, Paul has a keen interest in eco friendly low cost “open hardware” technologies and architecture. Paul is the driving force behind the low cost and eco friendly designs of the buildings and supervises all construction activities within the projects.

 

Awards and Recognitions include amongst others;

 

2012 – Paul was awarded with the “Bornheimer” by the Europe School in Bornheim, Germany

2007 – On behalf of BWB, Paul was awarded with the Mother Theresa award

2005 – National Fundraising Award 2005

2003 – Queen of Holland knighted Paul in the “Knighthood in the order of Oranje Nassau

2002 – Wolfgang von Goethe Association awarded Paul with the Albert Schweizer Award.