Every year, from the beginning of January to the end of April, the kanthari campus is rather quiet. The sounds of birds, our dogs, jumping fish and quaking frogs are breaking the silence.
However, this year is different: The campus and the entire property was used as much as possible.
This year, the organization MAD (Make A Difference) brought two groups of children who come from underprivileged families to kanthari where they enjoyed their summer camps. And this year, the kanthari campus hosted a 6-day program for the blind, the deaf and the physically challenged.
For this purpose, a concept was developed together with the Kerala Development and Innovation Strategy Council, (K-DISC). The program was implemented by NISH (National Institute for Speech and Hearing) and several kanthari graduates, catalysts and many volunteers.
The goal was to get young people with disabilities out of their comfort zone, introducing them to something new and adventurous. They should learn to understand that they are not only seen as needy but can become active and contributing participants in their environment. This change in attitude is not always easy, because often parents are overprotective.
Many of the participants were confronted with responsibility for the first time. Parts of the curriculum that we developed for the Adventure Camp for the Blind have been used and tested here for the first time.
It's that time again, the end of March has arrived and therefore it is high time for the first quarterly newsletter of 2019. We herewith wish to share the highlights of the past three months with you.
The kanthari Curriculum is named “a Journey in Five Acts”. The first 4 acts take place at kanthari in Kerala with a highlight being the kanthari TALKS. During this event, all participants shared their personal journeys and presented what change they plan to bring in their communities. The dream speeches of the 2018 kanthari batch are uploaded to the YouTube kanthariTV channel
Please enjoy and share the links with your family members and friends. Act five started right after the certification event when the participants returned home. Act 5 is when the going gets tough as now the participants have to implement what was learned into reality. During 5 months the participants have an opportunity to be supported through mentorship as well as a stipend support.
Updates of projects of 2018 participants
Kenya: WA-WA - Cavin Odera (Cavin's dream speech)
When Cavin’s parents and oldest sister died of HIV/AIDS, he was mocked and discriminated. This experience eventually triggered his passion to empower girls and young women, to equip them with
skills to earn sustainable livelihoods without falling victim to “sex for fish”, which is rampant the Lake Victoria region. His organization WA-WA advocates for woman so they can become financially independent and this will end sex for fish. More details about WA-WA can be found at:
Uganda: WEYE – Brian Kakembo (Brian's dream speech)
Brian started WEYE - Waste to Energy Youth Project to help low-income families access clean energy for cooking as well as tackle youth unemployment in Uganda. Young people are equipped with practical skills to produce briquettes from organic waste, which reduce the harmful effects of commonly-used firewood and charcoal. They will also acquire entrepreneurial skills to start their own business. More info at https://www.weyeug.com/
Volunteers of Make a Difference
Stories worth sharing at kanthari
Updates of projects of kanthari graduates
India – Sadhan - Sadhana (Sadhana's dream speech)
Having gone through adversity provides a source of energy and determination.
Read about Sadhana's journey from having been a victim to become a victor and how she used this path to empower hundreds of women who faced similar challenges. Sadhana was abused by the brother of her best friend and was forced to marry the abuser. After a very bumpy road in which Sadhana faced domestic violence she finally broke free and started a journey of hope.
Read all about it here
Tanzania: Ambakofi – Gumbo Majubwa (Gumbo's dream speech)
Here an update that Gumbo shared: “Six Months of its inception brings ambakofi into the glimmer of inspiring forests restoration efforts. two villages in Bagamoyo District welcomed us to retain the terrestrial forests. While on the other side five villages in Pangani District volunteered with the ambakofi team to make sure the degraded marine forest is back to its natural and beautiful shape by planting more than 12,000 mangroves. These endeavors come from the middle of the very critical weather condition; sun and hot condition with very little rain. Regardless of this worrying situation, people start to realize that environmental problems are people's problems. It is simple and straightforward; forests play a major role in our planet’s future survival. In both agro-forests project, ambakofi expects to plant more than 10,000 fruit- and wood- trees by the end of April 2019. And banana, pineapple, bamboo, cassava, sunflower, Moringa, vegetables and spices will also be cultivated. Our goal is to save the environment and improve the livelihoods of our interested beneficiaries. Practicing agro-forestry is needed and it is a sustainable approach for the forests and food security.” More at https://ambakofi.org/
Save Lake Vellayani
The Save Vellayani Lake movement continues. It is great to see that more volunteers are stepping up to save Lake Vellayani. It will however take more people and also some technical machinery to completely free the lake of the exotic species that are suffocating the lake. Read more in this article
Make a Difference Summer camps
This year two Make A Difference (MAD) Dream Camps were held at the kanthari campus. Activities include developmental sessions like beautiful you, River of life, dream trees etc along with exposure and experience sessions, fun games focusing on holistic development and relationships with peers.
Stories Worth Sharing Jan 2019
Stories Worth Sharing held its first-ever state meetup in god's own country, Kerala. 20 personal stories being shared with an interested and excited audience. kanthari's co-founder, Sabriye Tenberken shared her life story too. Read more at StoriesWorthSharing
Residence Association meeting held at kanthari campus
Another premiere took place, for the the first time the annual local Residence Association meeting was held at the kanthari campus. As the campus has sufficient space, this meeting had the highest number of attendees ever.
2019 kanthari annual meeting
Mukaloormoola Residents Association annual meeting at kanthari campus
KDISC – Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council
K-DISC has initiated a project to prepare selected youth in Kerala to be innovators and leaders in society as part of its strategic initiatives for development in the state. The first ever inclusive 6 days workshop was held at the kanthari campus during the last week of March.
Renew, redo and renovation
As every year, we use the first few months to update the Curriculum and to renovate the campus. During an annual team-meeting the previous course and the feedback of the participants and catalysts is evaluated and any changes / adaptations are decided upon. This year a few adaptations will be implemented with the main goal to increase practical learning.
As for maintenance activities we have been working on some paintwork, realization of a new paddle-boat shelter, and placement of several LED spotlights that not only provide a special atmosphere, most important is that the campus is illuminated using very little electricity.
kanthari in the media / speaking
08-MAR-2019: Women's day - The story of Sabriye Tenberken and Tiffany Brar in Asianet news
19-JAN-2019: Paul spoke about kanthari at the Forging the Assistive Technology Value Chain' conference at NISH Trivandrum.
Dear friends, supporters and partners,
The tenth kanthari leadership training course will start soon. We are extremely grateful to all who have made it possible to reach to this point. On behalf of all of our participants and colleagues, we say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your ongoing interest and support. Also we thank you for sharing this newsletter within your network.
We wish you a wonderful spring time!
With very best regards,
The entire kanthari team, sabriye and paul