kanthari » kanthari Graduates 2013

kanthari Graduates 2013


  • Thomas Sarko – Liberia, Eureka Café

    Having experienced the problems of post-war Liberia first hand, Thomas dreams of freeing society from violence. Many people focus on establishing peace, he says, but the real question is: how can peace be sustained? Peace is fragile in a society where an entire generation was raised in an environment of conflict and fear. Thomas is working for sustainable peace in Liberia through youth education and leadership training, and through promoting dialogue as an alternative to violence.

  • Tiffany Brar – India

    Project: Jyothirgamaya – Mobile Blind School | Tiffany wants to make blind people feel uncomfortable. Born blind herself, she understands all too well how poverty, distance and over protection can prevent the visually impaired from becoming mobile, independent and having access to education, specifically in Braille and English. Despite having degrees in English and Special Education, it wasn’t until she came to kanthari that she learned how to use a white cane and realized that only by taking blind people out of their comfort zones and hiding places, could they be exposed to a better quality of life. kanthari prepared Tiffany to take the helm at Jyothirgamaya, a mobile school for the blind in Kerala, India, where the motto is, if the blind can’t get to school, then school will come to them. With it’s individualized, needs-based approach, Jyothirgamaya trains blind children and adults at their places of residence in Braille, English, basic math and computer skills, and life skills including use of white canes and personal hygiene. As a teacher, motivator and counselor Tiffany is empowering blind students and helping them and their parents overcome anxiety. And in the process she is definitely offering them a better life.

  • Olufunbi Falayi – Nigeria, (Passion incubator)

    As Funbi puts it, youth unemployment in Nigeria is a time bomb waiting to explode. He believes the causes of this epidemic are the inability of youths to sincerely identify their passion, the lack of confidence to pursue their passion, lack of awareness about vocational education skills. These problems are contributing to poverty and alarmingly high rates of crime, kidnapping, and terrorism. Funbi wants to tackle these problems through the establishment of Passion Incubators across the country. The objective of the incubator is to help youths indentify their passion, confidently pursue it through relevant skills, guidance and direction. He believes that this will solve unemployment in the long-run and trigger an economy driven by passionate and creative entrepreneurs.

  • Poppie Anggreiny–Indonesia, (Tarsius Dream School)

    What is the connection between education reform and sustainability? Poppie believes that a holistic approach to education is the key to our ability to sustain ourselves for generations to come. Poppie dreams of an educational system where students are engaged through dynamic and creative lessons, problem-solving and investing in the future through hands-on education. Poppie’s vision is to revolutionize education in Indonesia by improving teacher training and infusing the system with new energy and vigor.

  • Bashiru Adamu – Nigeria, (Dream Again)

    Bashiru has a special passion for inmates in prison as they are viewed with negativity and societal stigma. He wants to convert prisons into places of potential and discovery, empowering the prisoners to believe in their human worth and dignity and to educate themselves while they doing their time. His aim is to start prison academies where inmates gain new skills and understanding, ultimately reducing the rate of crime in society.

  • Tomasz Kozakiewicz – Poland, (kanthariplus)

    Tomek Kozakiewicz arrived at kanthari from Poland in a round-about way. After graduating with a degree in economics and working for several years, he felt that something in his life was missing. He spent a year volunteering in India and Nepal with several kanthari graduates, whose projects inspired him. He realised that these graduates could benefit from a widespread public relations campaign. And he knew that he was just the person to do this. So, Tomek came to kanthari as a participant himself to better understand the process and the people. While at kanthari Tomek discovered that film could be a powerful tool for the kanthari program – with its ability to reach and connect millions of people all over the world. And kanthari plus was conceived. Tomek is making documentaries about kanthari graduate projects all over the world. He is giving these hard working kantharis the global exposure they need to generate critical support and is enabling them to continue learning from each other in their post-kanthari worlds. For Tomek it’s all about the process of inspiring one another, exchanging ideas, and getting people all over the world interested and excited.

  • Santhosh M – India, (Pest Friendly Farm)

    Santhosh comes from an area of Kerala where a large part of the tribal communities live below the poverty line. He traces challenges in his community to a loss of traditional agricultural knowledge and practice. Because of this, he wants to strengthen the community by reviving and preserving traditional forms of agriculture through awareness raising and establishment of a model organic farm. The project will encourage tribal farmers to invest in sustainable food production rather than working as laborers in the modern cash-crops industry.

  • Lorena Acula – Philippines, (Future Vision)

    Lorena believes that whether formal or non-formal, education is the key to overcoming the barriers of impairment. She wants to improve access to education for blind and visually impaired students whose families cannot send them to school due to poverty, distance from school, or stigmatization. Being blind herself, Lorena was able to attend high school and later completed college, but she had to fight for her education at every step along the way. Her dream is to set up a Home that allows blind students to attend local, integrated, schools, and at the same time live in a supportive environment where they can develop independence and cultivate skills in creative thinking, communication, and social problem-solving.

  • Noeline Kirabo – Uganda, (kyusa)

    Noeline has worked in the field of social work for a number of years, coordinating children’s leadership development programs and addressing issues that include gender-based violence, child abuse, and children’s rights sensitization. Her dream is to start a Global Leadership Academy & Resource Centre (GLARC) that will offer a creative approach to learning for young visionaries and will foster self-discovery and innovation, producing social change agents who can transform the world.

  • George Thomas – India, (Freedom on Wheels)

    George is working for the betterment of people who have spinal cord injuries. Having met in an accident that caused paraplegia, he wants to make his city wheelchair friendly, so that he and others in his city who use wheelchairs can lead independent lives. As part of his dream project George plans to start an India-wide wheelchair welfare society. Currently no such society exists.

  • Olutosin Ruth – Nigeria, (Trash to Treasure)

    Tosin believes that nobody has nothing. Everybody has something to offer the world. Her project, which is based in the rural Lbasa riverside area of Lagos State, focuses on women’s empowerment through training women in the art of making cooking bags, tie-dye clothing, and other products, with an emphasis on use of local and recycled materials. Tosin wants to establish an Assets Transformation Centre where women and children can develop a “lens” to detect their talents and assets, and can create innovative products out of materials that are normally considered trash

  • Jyotshna Rani Das – India, (Janamangal)

    Jyotshna faced the reality of a forced marriage at an early age and experienced the physical and emotional consequences, which accompany this still common violation of human rights. The abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, coupled with the ensuing abandonment by her family, left her destitute, alone, hopeless and suicidal. She came to Kanthari a victim of an appalling and indefensible practice. However, she emerged with the dream of creating an organization to help empower girls and women affected by physical and emotional abuse and violence. Jyotshna Rani Das faced the reality of a forced marriage at an early age and experienced the physical and emotional consequences, which accompany this still common violation of human rights. The abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, coupled with the ensuing abandonment by her family, left her destitute, alone, hopeless and suicidal. She came to Kanthari a victim of an appalling and indefensible practice. However, she emerged with the dream of creating an organization to help empower girls and women affected by physical and emotional abuse and violence. With the skills and confidence she received at Kanthari, Jyotshna founded Janamangal, an organization that provides these women with the counseling and skills to become healthy, employable, self sufficient and productive members of society. To date, Jyotshna’s center, which is in the Odisha state of India, has assisted 1,237 families, 256 women, and 213 adolescent girls. Jyotshna leads by example and works tirelessly in her capacity as a social worker, an entrepreneur, an educator, a motivator and a leader. Most importantly though, she has become a true role model for girls and women worldwide affected by domestic violence. We congratulate Jyotshna on her impressive work so far and look forward to hearing many more of her success stories.

  • Mulenga Kaluba – Zambia, (Limability)

    Mulenga lost his right leg due to an accident, also he lost most of his sight due to a brain tumor, but he certainly did not loose his good humor or his vision! He is passionate about disability advocacy and environmental protection, and plans to train persons with disabilities in new sources of income generation through livestock management, bio-gas production, and organic agriculture. He envisions a society where the economically and socially marginalized are the architects of their own futures

  • Harriet Kamashanyu – Uganda, (Rythm of Life)

    Harriet is a woman on a mission. A mission to improve the lives of Uganda’s sex workers and their daughters. Having grown up in a neighborhood bordering Uganda’s biggest red light district, Harriet witnessed the physical and emotional toll that this type of life wreaks on sex workers, many of whom carry the additional stigma of being HIV positive, and their families. Harriet came to kanthari because she wants to give these women and their daughters a promising, healthy and safe future. Harriet created Rhythm Of Life (ROL) to address the myriad of medical, financial and social needs of HIV positive sex workers and their daughters. ROL offers entrepreneurial training and financial planning sessions to give sex workers alternate professional options and to become financially stable and independent. Access to education and mentoring for their daughters to assure that they do not have to follow in the footsteps of their mothers is a critical component of Harriet’s organization. Because stigma and discrimination often prevent sex workers from seeking health care treatment, ROL is bringing it directly to them by setting up drop in health care centers within red light districts and going door to door distributing health care kits. ROL also advocates against discrimination of sex workers in the healthcare system and for their social, economic and political rights. Harriet’s hard work is ensuring a better, safer and healthier life for Uganda’s sex workers and a better future for their daughters.

  • Tousif Ahmed – India

    Tousif, of Karnataka State, aspires to provide quality education to blind students aged between 15 and 30. According to him, lack of access to education is the source of most social challenges for the visually impaired. He wants to set up a center that will provide academic support, career counseling, and assistive technology training for blind students, so that they can realize their dreams and compete in school and in the workplace.

  • John Peter – India, (Yurt on Wheels)

    John Peter is working for a Gypsy community that is struggling with social stigma and challenges relating to poverty, unemployment, early child marriage, disease, and lack of knowledge about government facilities and other sources of support. His project will focus on empowering the children and youth in this community through ensuring that they have consistent access to education. Through providing vocational training and encouragement he wants to help them live their dreams.

  • Thuktan Yeshay – India, (Greenhouse School)

    Thuktan has a deep concern for the health of his community in Spiti, which faces many problems due to non- availability of nutritious food. His dream is to address this by setting up greenhouses where fresh vegetables can be grown year-round. He also has a keen interest in improving the quality of education for tribal children, and sees potential for linking the greenhouse project with new educational opportunities.

  • Chipo Chikomo – Zimbabwe, (Nhanga Trust)

    Chipo believes that the greatest tragedy is not death but a life without purpose. Her project seeks to ensure the dignity of female prisoners in Zimbabwe, and to create a space where these women and their incarcerated children can channel their potentials towards realizing their dreams. She wants to set up a transformation centre that supports and empowers female prisoners and provides a space where their children can grow up as normal children.

  • Nyasha Edlight Mugwagwa – Zimbabwe, (Impala Breeze

    Nyasha is the founder of Impala Breeze, a community development organization that empowers marginalized women and youth in both urban and rural areas of Zimbabwe. Through several training programs, these women and youth are empowered to improve their standards of living. This is done through training in income-generating skills and market development.

  • Stephen Ojungo – Kenya, (Hope restoration centre)

    Stephen is working with orphans and vulnerable children in his hometown. Rather than establishing a residential center, Stephen wants to create a place where children can come after school and on weekends while continuing to live with their legal guardians. His project will support and empower children and youth through psycho-social counseling and through provision of supplies like food, sanitary towels for girls, and school supplies and uniforms.

  • Soni S R – India, (Genderless)

    This passionate young woman from Kerala dreams of advancing society towards true gender equality. She believes that eliminating the forces that dehumanize society should be the primary concern of any development process. Soni’s project will initially focus on raising awareness in the younger generation, since young people are the foundation for mindset change in society. From there her project will grow and promote gender justice from many angles, including sensitization campaigns, violence intervention, promotion of self-defense, and establishment of a dowry-free marriage bureau.

Next kanthari course starts in May 2018

Don't miss your opportunity to become a leader of social change! Applications welcome for 2018 kanthari course that will start in May 2018. Deadline: 30.01.2018

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