Dear friends and supporters of kanthari,
On the 27th of April 2019 we got a message that three Ugandese participants had missed their connecting flight and got stuck in Nairobi. When we requested for more details on whatsapp… no reply… Every year there are quite a bit of nerve wrecking moments when a new group of participants of which many have never flown before, start their personal journeys to reach the kanthari campus from all over the world. Missed flights, last minutes changes, issuing of visas that got delayed and/or other unexpected turn of events.
One day earlier, another Ugandan, Faruk Musema, was the first 2019 kanthari participant that had reached our campus. Over the next days he would be followed by the rest. And yes, the three who got stuck in Nairobi, after a very long and adventurous journey also made it to the South of India.
The time has arrived for the latest kanthari quarterly newsletter in which we wish to share the highlights of the past three months and inform you about the work of some our kanthari graduates. So get a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and enjoy the read.
The start of the 11th kanthari leadership training
It is like yesterday that we began our kanthari Journey in 2009. It is just unbelievable how time is flying by and that we have already arrived at the 11th edition of the kanthari leadership training program. This year we host 23 participants from 10 different countries. They come from Bolivia, Cameroon, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
To pave the way for a common understanding of each other’s backgrounds and cultures, the first week was all about getting to know each other, intercultural dialogue and creating a code of conduct of how we all want to live and work together for the duration of the course. The kanthari course is set up in such way that skills and knowledge is gained by active participation and doing. During the first act, the participants got to know the challenges of Lake Vellayani through field research meeting with all stakeholders directly: the fishermen, the farmers who grow vegetables nearby the lake, the residence association and local decision makers. After an intensive human centric design workshop, the 2019 kanthari participants organized a get-together of several stakeholders to Save Lake Vellayani. All of them and the kantharis joined hands to discuss what actions need to be taken to revive the Lake which functions as a fresh water resource and green lung of Trivandrum.
Save the dates! This year kanthari TALKS will be held on the 29th, 30th November and the 1st of December. Where? at the kanthari campus in Trivandrum. Updates on this event are available at the new website www.kantharitalks.org
Football for Change in Bangladesh
Soulace Africa Peace building meeting
Updates of projects of 2018 kanthari graduates
Bangladesh: Onniruddah Bangladesh – Kabir (Kabir's dream speech)
Many children and youth lose their childhood due to the stigma and superstitions about disabilities. Oniruddah Bangladesh started its journey to replace the stigma and superstitions using sports as a tool to (re-)connect. One project which is implemented in the remote village community in Mymensing is called Football for Integration. The goal is to increase care, respect and solidarity among all children so that they get to know about each other and accept one another. If there is a better understanding, it will not only improve the situation of the children with intellectual disabilities, but also the relationship within their families. More details about Kabir’s great work here
Latin America: Fundación Comparlante – Lorena Julio (Lorena's dream speech)
Fundación Comparlante, a Latin-American nonprofit that works for the accessibility of persons with disabilities through art, entrepreneurship and innovation, launched the #WeFeel photo exhibition in Argentina. In a series of photographs, Argentinian photographer Carla Coria portrays persons with different disabilities carrying out daily life activities. In the first half of the year more than 5000 visitors immersed themselves in this more human perspective towards disability. So far, the photos were exhibit in 8 different locations such as schools, universities, the Chamber of Deputies of Buenos Aires and more recently during the 2nd Global Disability Summit in Buenos Aires. To know more visit this website.
India – Bharat Wankhade - mudita: (Bharat's dream speech)
No child in India shall be deprived of education because of Social Stigma and Poverty. We envision an India where children lead a dignified life and achieve their full potential. That is the vision of Bharat, founder of mudita school, an organisation that empowers children from Dalit and Tribal communities to break the cycle of caste discrimination and generational poverty through quality education, leadership, and compassion. More info about Bharat’s work here
Updates of projects of kanthari graduates
Nigeria: Soulace Africa – Peter Adeeko (Peter's dream speech)
In Nigeria, many families have lost their fathers due to war. The consequences are disrupted families and widows who face severe difficult times ahead. Peter Adeeko is the founder of Soulace Africa, a community based peace building organization that addresses violent conflict and also advocates for the victims of extreme violence in Nigeria. Soulace Africa focuses on 4 main programs: Soulace Peace Academy (training & Development), a War Widows Development Scheme, A War Orphans Development Scheme and a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Campaign. An interesting article about Peter’s work was published in the Nigerian Tribune
India: Khetee – Neeraj Kumar (Neeraj's dream speech)
Kumar Neeraj from Bihar is a 2016 kanthari graduate who founded Khetee. He is a fourth-generation farmer and one of a few that are reviving the use of the ancient natural fertilizer called Jiwamrita (jeev-amrita), which has been used for thousands of years in India. Learn more about his inspiring work by reading the article in the ecologist and start copying this method.
Development Officers from Sri Lanka
kantharis at DW Global Media Forum
kantharis connected in Lagos as well as at the DW Global Media Forum in Germany
On the 11th and 12th of April 2019, 7 kantharis from across Africa had a chance to participate in the NEXT LEADERS' AFRICA SUMMIT that was held in Lagos. And at the end of May continuing to 'spread the spice' – 16 kantharis from nearly all batches met up in Bonn for the 12th Deutsche Welle GLOBAL MEDIA FORUM 2019 that had the theme “shifting powers”. They were invited as fellows and influencers for social change and to share the personal journeys about how they are making a difference. Connecting with other kantharis and social changemakers from around the world was a highlight of the conference.
Visitors / workshops:
- On 25th and 26th of May the 2019 climate launchpad Kerala edition workshop was held at the kanthari campus. Climate Launchpad is the world’s largest green business ideas competition.
Its mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. Climate Launchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC.
- On the 12th of June 2019, 32 Development Officers from Sri Lanka who attended a one-week workshop of the Institute of Management in Government (IMG) visited several organisations in and around Trivandrum to get to know best practice. kanthari was one of the organisations they visited.
- kanthari hosted several meetings for the committee meetings of the Save Lake Vellayani movement.
kanthari in the media
04-MAY-2019: Joint efforts to keep Vellayani Lake Alive in The Hindu
07-JUN-2019: An Article about 16 kantharis visiting the Global Media Forum in Bonn as well as meeting with the BWB Foerderkreis was published in the Bonner General Anzeiger in Germany.
On the 29th of May 2019, kanthari received an Award ‘for the contribution and dedication for the development of social initiatives and making a positive impact in the lives of thousands of people’. The award was presented by UDS Kovalam.
Dear friends, supporters and partners,
The Monsoon has arrived and the eleventh kanthari leadership program is well on its way. On behalf of all of our participants and colleagues, we say THANK YOU for your ongoing interest and support.
Additionally, we thank you for sharing this newsletter within your network.
We wish you a wonderful summer! With very best regards,
The entire kanthari team, sabriye and paul