“Today we had a great experience. Leaving our campus, busy traffic slowed us down and we knew it was going to be tight to catch the train. When we made it to the platform, the train had already started to move. With a last sprint in the heat of the afternoon and with a big jump, we finally made it into the train that would take us overnight to our next destination; Bangalore. Our journey of learning started with a bang”, this was part of a message that we got from one of our participants, who was going on an exposure trip that is part of Act two of the kanthari Curriculum.
Dear friends and supporters,
Weeks and months are flying by. The eleventh kanthari course has gone into the last sprint. And every year more kantharis are out there making a difference in their communities. In this newsletter, we will talk about campus insights and as usual we will refer to our alumni and their social ventures.
Picture our logo with the five kanthari chillis in different colors. These colors indicate the type of social change maker (Initiators, inventors, entrepreneurs, activists and artists), but also, they indirectly symbolize the content of our curriculum which is called, "a journey in five acts."
GREEN stands for initiation, it is the color of the first act in which the participants have the chance to gain practical skills and tools that are required to start an organization.
YELLOW is the color of act 2, the testing and prototyping phase. Here the participants focus on the creation of their venture profiles, a series of documents that include a personal profile, a problem definition and the solution. These documents form the foundation of communication; from flyers and brochures, to websites and proposals. Additionally, they will create their first 3 dimensional prototypes.
During an exposure trip through the South of India, the participants have the possibility to compare their ideas with already existing NGOs. Amongst those NGOs are also a number of kanthari alumni, Such as: - Snehan in Pondicherry, an organization that works with homeless adults, founded by Anumuthu (2017 kanthari, more info below).
- Sristi Village, an inclusive village that was started by Karthikeyan (2012 kanthari)
- Yurt on Wheels, a mobile school for tribal children, founded by John Peter, a kanthari from 2016,
- Aravans, an organization that works for the rights of LGBTIQ community, Partha (2016 kanthari) - Project Defy, an organization that creates maker spaces, schools without teachers that was founded by Abhijit Sinha. (2015 kanthari)
ORANGE represents the third act in which we focus on entrepreneurial skills, such as project planning, fundraising, branding and going public.
Currently, the participants are organizing the kanthari – Spread the Spice fest, a one-day expo in which they will go public with their social venture for the first time. More about this event will be posted in the next quarterly newsletter, so stay tuned.
RED stands for the fiery fourth act, the act in which activists will shine. This is the time in which we prepare the participants for the kanthari TALKS at the 29th & 30th November and 1st December. Our participants have each ten minutes to speak about their life, the problem to solve and the solution they offer with their newly founded organizations. This is followed by questions and answers of the audience.
Snehan beneficiary selling bags
Satya installing safe pump switch starters
Updates of ventures of 2018 kanthari graduates
Cameroon: Ecological Balance – Limbi Tata - Limbi's dream speech
Limbi Blessing Tata, founder of the NGO Ecological Balance - Irvingia, was on Hi TV in Buea Cameroon to educate the public on conservation of forests. “We all are responsible for the way the earth is polluted and the good news is that we all can be part of the solution. Be mindful of what products you buy, start avoiding any plastics unless absolutely necessary and start planting trees, even a small one on your balcony or rooftop will make a difference” was part of her message. More information about Limbi’s important work against deforestation in Cameroon can be found at http://www.ecobalances.org/
Tajikistan: Vilka Chess Club: Sohibjamol
Sohibjamol uses Chess as a tool for integration. She just completed a 3 months project in Khorog, a city that is located in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province. Thanks to the work of Vilka, 7 Vilka Chess club members could participate a regional tournament. One of them, Shoghoz Mamadrizokhinov who is visually impaired got the first place in chess as well as in mental math. Chess plays an important role in Tajikistan’s culture. More info about Sohibjamols work can be read at http://www.vilkachessclub.org/
India: kaanthi – Satya Illa: Satya’s’s dream speech
In India, every year, an estimated number of 14,000 people die because of Electrical accidents. That’s nearly 40 each day. Most of the victims got/get electrocuted because of a lack of awareness and due to lacking safety standards. kaanthi, an organization founded by Satya illa, is addressing both causes. On one side by raising awareness and on the other on technical hardware solutions. Since he graduated last December, he has spoken to more than 10,000 people; farmers, rural youth and students. His work was recognized with ‘The commonwealth Youth Achievement Award for Excellence in The Development Work 2019’ for Southeast Asian region and the National youth icon award for excellence in development work by the International Youth Committee. More info at: http://www.kaanthi.org/
Updates of projects of kanthari graduates
India : Snehan – Anumuthu (2017) - Anumuthu’s dream speech
What does it mean to be homeless? Anumuthu wanted to find out, so, for three days during the Severe Cyclonic Storm Ockhi (2017) he bravely took on the streets in the centre of Trivandrum. That Sunday he returned to the kanthari campus a broken man. “I have never been so cold, hungry and thirsty in my life” he said, “But that was not a problem, I literally became invisible, thousands of people walked passed me looking away”. Anumuthu is the founder of Snehan, an NGO that works with unemployed, disabled, old and sick homeless adults, who live on the streets in Pondicherry, India. Snehan means “friend of all”. Anumuthu and his team have saved and changed the lives of 300+ homeless people. learn more about his great work at http://snehan.org
Sessions at kanthari
kanthari TALKS: 29, 30 Nov, 1st Dec 2019
Lebanon: Mesewat – Rahel Zageye (2017) - Rahel's dream speech
Rahel Zegeye Zewudu was born in Ethiopia but she lives and works in Lebanon. Lebanon has more than 250,000 domestic migrant workers from different countries including Ethiopia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and India. Being herself a migrant worker in Lebanon, Rahel, has experienced first-hand unfair and inhuman treatment for many years. That inspired her to start Mesewat, an organization that advocates for the rights of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. More info about Rahels’ work is available here
Zimbabwe: Simuka - Mercy Maunganidze (2016) - Mercy's dream speech
Mercy Maunganidze is the Chairperson of the National Disability Board in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in Zimbabwe. She started Simuka, a wing of the Zimbabwe Albino Association that focuses on helping single mothers with albinism to build up their self-confidence by acting on the economic, social and political issues that they face. Mercy was recently honored with the Best Albino Advocate 2019 award. The recognition was given by the Ruth Pasi Foundation based out of Harare. We congratulate Mercy heartily and wish her lots of continued success and hope to see her flourish even more in her endeavors!
Recently kanthari graduates Naresh Reddy (2017) working on National Food Literacy Mission, Illa Satya (2018) after winning the Commonwealth Youth Excellence Award working on Solar farms and Joshi Anumuthu (2017) Founder of Snehan, met in Hyderabad. Exchanges among kanthari graduates are very helpful. They all are part of the kanthari alumni network that are spreading the spice and create positive differences for people who are positioned at the margins of society.
Trevor, (2018) and Gumisai (2015) were independently invited to be moderators at an important conference for the LGBTQ movement in south Africa.
kanthari TALKS 2019:
Save the dates! This year kanthari TALKS will be held on the 29th, 30th November and the 1st of December 2019. Where? at the kanthari campus in Trivandrum. Updates on this event are available at the new website www.kantharitalks.org
kanthari in the media
An article about kanthari in Malayalam in the The Manorama
To help us reaching potential kanthari participants, please do share the following link within your network and ask whomever is interested to apply now: https://www.kanthari.org/admissions/
Dear friends, supporters and partners,
We are pleased to let you know that the 2019 course is running well. Without your help, we would not be where we are today. Therefore, 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. Many greetings from the Vellayani Lakeside,
The entire kanthari team, sabriye and paul