Image of one group of participants visiting Aravan, project of the graduate

Dear supporters, friends,

in our last quarterly newsletter we mentioned that the monsoon had arrived. At that time we didn’t know that it would lead to one of the worst floods in more than 100 years here in Kerala.
Luckily, the water has receded but the damage that it left behind is tremendous. One of our part-time kitchen helpers’ house was badly damaged and become uninhabitable. kanthari staff and participants are helping to rebuild her home. It will take a long time before Kerala will be back to normal. Here at kanthari we have been lucky that only the lower part of the campus was flooded. Our thoughts are with all who have been affected and we hope that the help will continue to get them back on their feet again.

The 2018 kanthari course has proceeded and as time is flying by, we wish to share the latest update with you in this quarterly newsletter:

kanthari Curriculum:
Act one of the kanthari Curriculum, “the Tansalesean adventure”, is all around a fictitious country in which participants may test their social ventures and learn about problem definition, vision, mission and fundraising. Having received all the basics, the participants were ready for the next step. In an intensive 3 weeks lasting period, each participant worked together with an individual mentor to make a first draft of their venture profiles.
A venture profile is a set of different documents which define the problem to be solved, the intervention that their social initiative offers, a beneficiary profile and a needs assessment. Additionally they added a creative write up about their personal story and why they wish to dedicate their life to social change.

Additionally, Act two, “the wild world”, offers participants an exposure trip to various social ventures in the south of India. This year we organized three parallel trips. One with a focus on alternative education, one around environmental protection and women empowerment and the third visiting already running kanthari ventures which deal with marginalised communities.

Updates on Graduates:
In each newsletter we are eager to give you a small insight in the many achievements of our 183 graduates from 41 countries.

Nigeria – Tosin: Turn Trash to Treasure – kanthari 2013
Tosin, a brave survivor of domestic violence had found her mission in changing the lives of many women who have suffered like herself. She and her beneficiaries transform trash into beautiful pieces of art. On the 21st of September she wrote: “my project is growing in Lbasa riverside. We now have registered 125 girls for our program and 35 women for Turn Trash To Treasure. We are building our third hall now, it’s going to be a 2 floors’ building.”

India – Raja KR: Global Network for Equality – kanthari 2011
Raja KR came across many family dramas in which the husband killed the wife, leaving their children alone. Taken to jail to serve a period not less than 14 years, the question is: what is the fate of these innocent children? He founded Global Network for Equality that provides education, healthcare, legal support and other services that are required to give opportunities to children whose parents are in jail. Here one of the many actions that Raja is working on article

Sri Lanka – Kapila Ratnayake: VOICES OF HUMAN – kanthari 2017
Kapila creates a space/platform where each individual is treating as equal human beings. “We are heading to achieve gender equality and equity. We believe in a world where there is no discrimination, power relationship and unequal treatment based on their gender.” Read more at

Kenya – Henry MKare: Kickstart Kilifi – kanthari 2017
Kilifi is one of the most neglected areas in Kenya, especially in regards to education. Henry was the first and only person of his district who, despite all odds received a university degree. Many drop out due to poverty and due to lack of interest in a, for them, irrelevant curriculum. and the current educational system seems not to be able to bring them back to school. Henry offers a new, practical approach to learning. Students, teachers and dropouts are equally excited and willing to give Kickstart a chance.  He writes: “Last two weeks we launched a project entitled “Building with Books” in partnership with one local school. Kickstart Kilifi is looking forward bringing into life 21st century skills, commonly known as the four Cs: Communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skill which the education they are getting in the school has failed to give.” Read more at

Thailand – Yoshimi Horiuchi: Book worm ARC – kanthari 2009
As a young student she had traveled through Thailand discovering something astonishing: Most children and adults are literate, but no one enjoys reading.  Yoshimi, born and raised in Japan, grew up with books which opened a door to the world for her. After kanthari she realised her dream to venture out with a mobile library which brought books to rural areas, to prisons and marginalised communities and she established a beautiful library for young and old. This year she returned to kanthari to share her experiences and knowledge with the current kanthari participants.  Oh, by the way, Yoshimi is completely blind. More here

kanthari Alumni: East Africa
A group of kanthari graduates from East Africa met in Kigali to exchange experiences, challenges and solutions. The host for the meeting was Norman Manzi, founder of Dream Village. Every year kantharis join regional alumni networks worldwide. “Even if we have never met, we feel so familiar with each other.” Says Samuel Odwar, 2014 kanthari and founder of Thumbs up Uganda. “We
speak the same jargon and are not shy to discuss challenges and failures.” Some collaborate for writing grant proposals, conducting workshops and exchange information in particular topics. So far kantharis are active in over 20 different social areas, ranging from environmental protection, peace and conflict management, empowerment of women youth and persons with disabilities, alternative education and many more.


Rajagopal PV is the founder of Ekta Parishad, a people’s movement that is dedicated to the principles of non-violent action, aiming at social and land reform in India. During a visit to kanthari, Rajagopal shared his vision and also announced the next big planned campaign, the Jai Jagath 2020. Jai Jagat. Thousands of marchers committed to nonviolent change all over the World will march from India, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Mali, Senegal, Spain and other countries to Geneva (Switzerland). They will meet in Geneva between September 25th and October 3rd, 2020, in the city that symbolizes peaceful coexistence and that is home to many UN organizations. You want to be part of this March? Then learn more about this amazing event and join via:

Industrial engineer Shubhendu Sharma was working at Toyota when he met Japanese forest expert Akira Miyawaki, who uses a methodology he had developed to make a forest grow ten times faster than normal. Fascinated, Sharma interned with Miyawaki, and grew his first successful forest on a small plot behind his own house. Today, his company Afforestt promotes a standardized method for seeding dense, fast-growing, native forests in barren lands. Take 10 minutes to watch Shubhendu’s inspiring TED Talk to learn how you can create a forest in your own backyard too!

kanthari’s gardener Joy joined the 2 weeks intense natural farming training and learned all about healthy and unhealthy soil, different types of crops, preparing the land for plantation, giving relevant and the right nutrition to the crops, producing and using natural pesticides, cultivating, replanting and importance of country cows for agriculture. Now he is implementing the agro-forestry approach at the kanthari campus. Once this is done we need to do some fundraising for two cows and a calf which enrich the land and add value to our daily milk consumption.

kanthari in the media:
– Every day between five and seven in the evening participants and catalysts are cleaning the lake. The future of Lake Vellayani is in the hand of all of us. An article about lending the lake a helping hand was published in the Hindu and can be read here
– A longer article about kanthari and its changemakers was written by Shreya Pareek and can be read at “the stories of Change

kanthari TALKS in Bangalore
This year is special. It is the tenth anniversary and because of that, kanthari TALKS will take place in Bangalore. The dates of this two day event are: 24th and 25th October 2018.
In order not to miss this unique event, Book your tickets now at:



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