Image of one participant speech and Sabriye speech

Quarterly newsletter 1-2017

In December 19 kanthari participants returned home to start up their social initiatives. Finding board members, creating constitutions, getting registered, realizing an office space, reaching out to the target group, getting training programs started and very important, raising funds are all not easy tasks. Because of this, kanthari provides a start-up stipend and mentorship support. Despite many challenges several participants have already managed to get registered and started daily activities that benefit their target communities immensely.


The next kanthari leadership training course will start in May 2017. Every year we receive several hundred applications from potential participants from all over the world. For the upcoming course we received over 300 applications from 50 plus countries. Since the measurement of success is not the amount of people we train but the amount of participants who start projects, a strict selection process has been put in place. To focus on quality, it is planned to start this year’s course with app 25 participants.

updates kanthari graduates
Nepal: prayatna nepal, Sarita Lamichhane
Sarita was the main host for this year’s WOW Kathmandu event! At a time when female voices have become immensely powerful as a force for positive change, WOWKathmandu brings together women and girls, men and boys. The main goal of the project is to create more gender equality in Kathmandu and across Nepal.

Hungary: Artman – Shall we Dance?, Tamas Barko
Tamas uses art to empower people who are disabled. For his work he was awarded with the Golden Bell.  He wrote „I got my first golden bell award in 2005 for my harp performance. Eleven years later I received the life achievement golden Bell prize. My conclusion is – the more you express appreciation towards others the more you receive the same. I am sure that i would not have gotten this prize without kanthari. The keywords are patience, encouragement and trust. Four years ago I didn’t believe that I am a purple kanthari who can create social change using art as a tool. Thank you all for your support” Tamas Barko

India: Project DEFY, Abhijit Sinha
Abhijit Sinha creates so called “nooks”, schools without teachers. Kate Robinson’s organisation HundrED has selected Project DEFY among one hundred educational innovations in the world! Congratulations to the DEFY Team! Check out more details and learn about Project DEFY’s inspiring work at: HundrED

Ghana, Guzakuza, Nana Adjoa Sifa
Nana works hard to make farming an alternative career for young women graduates in Ghana. Nana is making agropreneurship hip again! She says that the work of a farmer is equally important as that of a lawyer or a doctor. Guzakuza’s wants to reduce graduate unemployment, food insecurity and poverty in the long run. Watch a brief video here

India, Aravans, Parthasarathy:
K. Parthasarathy, Founder & Director of Aravans organized an awareness generating programme on Gender equality. The event conducted for parents and teachers in Government Higher Secondary School, Palavanatham, Virudhunagar. 57 parents and 13 teachers participated. The mission of Aravans is enabling LGBTQI community for an inclusive socio-, economic and political development.

Nigeria, L.E.A.D. Transformation Initiative, Femi Titilayo
L.E.A.D.’s mission is to motivate and transform high school graduates to become creative and innovative university graduates. Femi Titilayo used the opportunity of World forest day to plant trees at one of Akure’s highschools and to work on “agromotivation”. Also a start was made on the Innovation Experience University program with the theme “Organic Food For Students By Students”
India, Sristi Village, Karthik
Karthik has set 3 goals for 2017! 1. We aim to grow 100% of the food for Sristi Village and to become more self-sustainable. 2. Water management: Implement water harvesting and construction of contour banks to effectively conserve and use every drop of water on our land. 3. We want to construct three eco-friendly and low cost buildings; a School and vocational training centre, a residential building to house our community residents, and a multi-functional building for kitchen, dining and common space purposes.

MAD camp 2017
MAD – Make A Difference Dream Camp was held for 54 underprivileged children from Trivandrum. They enjoyed a weekend at the kanthari campus. The three day camp included personality and skill development and lots of other fun activities. The MAD volunteers who organized the event did a great job!

Workshop for Pearl Academy Students
In February, architect students of Pearl Academy, Noida visited kanthari for a one day workshop on eco-friendly design. During several sessions, the link between the construction industry and global warming was explored. In group work, the students discussed methods and techniques that provide solutions for a more sustainable tomorrow. A campus tour was made during which all cost effective and eco-friendly solutions that are in place were explained. A few quotes of students; “Let’s join together to build a better and more sustainable future!” Sejal Aggarwal and Tamanna Bahl said “Let us build, create and join hands with kanthari. Live the dream you have always dreamt of!”

Workshop for Students of Social Sciences of Loyola College
another workshop was held with students of the Loyola Social Sciences college. The theme of this workshop was “Walk with a scholar” and the goal was to learn more from people who are practically creating social change. What drives them? What does a typical day look like? What responsibilities do project founders carry? What challenges are commonly faced, but also what results can be celebrated.  Anoop Krishnan, 2nd year Journalism & Mass comm student; “I enjoyed today’s class at kanthari. kanthari tries to improve the situation of socially and economically marginalized people. I would like to take part in the course after my graduation.”

Maintenance and construction
During the beginning of each year, the campus is always being maintained and ‘groomed’. Also some new additions were made, for example: The Duck ‘palace’ and pond was finalized and 20 ducks have moved in to our campus. A fish pond oxygen pump was installed to provide a healthy habitat for the fish.  A pathway was created through the eco-friendly garden so that everyone can enjoy a ‘walk through the park‘.

Annual review
In February the annual Curriculum review/preview and development meeting was held. During three days the entire kanthari Team worked hard to go through last year’s feedback that was provided by the participants as well as catalysts. Also this year a few adaptations will be made to match the requests and needs of the participants. On the third day of the meeting, the admin team was also included. The annual meeting was closed with a 360 degrees feedback session and a traditional Dosa meal with the entire team.

Annual team building trip
It has become a tradition that once a year the entire kanthari team makes a teambuilding trip. This year the destination was a well-known water park in Kanyakumari! In the park first several ‘dry’ group activities were done before after lunch the big ‘splash’ rides were ‘conquered’. After an entertaining day, the most Southern tip of India was briefly visited before the team headed back to Trivandrum.

kanthari in the media
An newspaper article (in German) about Sabriye Tenberken’s life as a blind person was published in the the ‘Wiesbadener Courier’. You can read it here
The 2016 kanthari Dream speeches are published on kanthariTV

Speaking engagements:
February: Sabriye and Paul spoke at C-DAC on the occasion of National Science Day Celebration 2017.  The speech was about the importance as well as the limitations of technology. The main message that was shared in their speech was; Personal confidence and skills should come first and then technical support will surely support further self-integration in schools and society.

March: EBS, Sabriye and Paul participated in a 4 days’ workshop that was organized by Dr. Andreas Heinecke at the European Business School near Frankfurt. The students at the business school were given a chance to get up close and personal to learn what it means to work as a social change maker.

Dear friends and supportes,

Our work would not be possible without you. On behalf of all of our participants and colleagues, we say THANK YOU for your ongoing interest and support.
Also we thank you for sharing this newsletter within your network.
We wish you a wonderful springtime!.

With very best regards,
The entire kanthari team, sabriye and paul

Do you wish to support the work of kanthari?
You can do this here – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!   –

You can find a PDF version of this newsletter at;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *