Quarterly Newsletter 3-2015

The autumn is coming soon so it is time to share all developments and happenings that took place over the last quarter.

Act One – The virtual world: ever been to Tansalesea?
In May the 7th kanthari course started with 24 participants from 14 countries. To give all participants a similar experience, everyone starts their venture in a virtual world. “Mountains high and rivers so deep, green are the meadows, full of fluffy sheep”, these words form the start of the Tansalesean anthem was passionately sung by all participants, whenever there was an official event. The setting of act one is called “Tansalesea”, a fictitious country, which simulates all challenges and opportunities of our future social change makers. All participants are obliged to set up their social ventures in this country. And while doing so, they have to deal with finances, online banking, fundraising and donor communication, with politics, with genuine and not so genuine members of the Tansalesean government, with media, the law and with superstitious beliefs.
Act one focusses on all tools and techniques that participants need to acquire to start and run their social ventures. Next to the experiences in Tansalesea, participants are encouraged to further develop their personal venture ideas. We offer training in problem analysis, definition of their target group, needs assessment and we invite them to de-construct and re-construct their concepts, a rather challenging phase, also called: “The washing Machine”.

Act 2 – Internship – “The wild world”
During act 2 all participants did a one month internship in organisations and/or companies all over India. A few examples:
Emmanuel Mruu’s passion is to run a sustainable waste management system in his community in Kenya. He did his internship with the organization “Daily Dump” to get exposure to a decentralized waste management system which includes composting of kitchen waste at home with minimal efforts and resources.
Manzi Norman from Rwanda did his internship at Mamta foundation, an NGO who works for the welfare of HIV positive children In Pune. Currently, 30 children and 5 HIV positive women receive shelter and support. Manzi’s dream is to establish an empowerment program that builds the capacity of HIV-positive people in Rwanda.

Act 3 – Preparing for the Leap
After returning back from their internships, participants will have the opportunity to run short-term projects in the areas of – agriculture and environment, education and campaigning, Social entrepreneurship. In this regard, our participants work on the following projects:
1. starting a sustainable organic garden on campus, with the aim to train the community in organic sustainable agriculture,
2. developing workshops and campaigns for high school kids to address skin color discrimination in Kerala,
3. conducting a campaign for a plastic free Trivandrum,
4. organising kanthari bites, a public event for schools and colleges
5. establishing an online store where kanthari graduates can sell their products. This store will be attached to the already existing “spread the spice”-shop.

Graduates updates
In this newsletter we wish to share 4 updates about about already established initiatives of kanthari graduates;
– KERALA: Manglu Sreedhar and Santhosh MM have a tribal background and come from the Wayanad district in the North of Kerala. They are the founders of Thalir World. One of the projects of Thalir is the “Backyard School”. This school offers education for tribal school drop-outs. During a summer school program thirty tribal children learned about indigenous music, storytelling, martial arts, theatre, drawing and painting, organic farming and reading. Additionally they have exposure visits to other initiatives and are trained in the art of debate. Read more here and at their website
– KENYA: Joseck Otungo’s NGO Mbusie, supports micro-finance groups and off-season/ greenhouse farming for blind people. Mbusie has recently extended its services to people with other disabilities as well. Thanks to the Mbusie table banking system, Mr Onduko started a cobbler business. Through the income he is generating, he is now able to support his daughter’s education. More about Mbusie at Mbusie Development Project International
– TAMIL NADU: Raja Rajendran is the founder of Global Network for equality. GNE supports prisoners as well as their children. In India every year more children are separated from a parent by crime than by divorce. GNE has identified children afflicted due to Parental Imprisonment and helps to reconstruct their lives and to eliminate the social stigma attached to them. Find out more here
– UGANDA: Latest health outreach in Kataba Kabalagala! Rhythm of Life (ROL) , initiated by Harriet Kamashanyu, reaches out to HIV positive sex workers in one of the largest red-light districts of Uganda. ROL’s innovative approaches to empowering the lives of sex workers and their daughters received the “Let Girls Lead Award” and ROL’s work was covered in articles in the Guardian and Huffington Post

kanthari in the media
– In September we were guests in the German TV program DAS! The program can be seen here
– Our book-reading, fund- and awareness-raising tour was published in several newspapers and media channels in Germany.
– On the 8th of October 2015 Sabriye will be a guest in a Swiss Talkshow named Aeschbacher. The program can be seen at SRF at 22:25
– On the 16th of October 2015 Sabriye will be a guest in the ZDF Program “Volle Kanne” which can be seen at 10:30 AM

Dreamworkshop of Kerala
The new book of Sabriye Tenberken is titled “Die Traumwerkstatt von Kerala, die Welt verändern – das kann man lernen”, roughly translated: “The dream-workshop of Kerala, Learning to Change the World”. It was published on the 10th of September 2015 in Germany. You can find more information about the book in English here.
(Kiepenheuer & Witsch ISBN 978-3-462-04717-2)

kanthari – change from within
On the 22nd of October the documentary “KANTHARI – CHANGE FROM WITHIN” will premiere at the Solidarity Centre in Gdansk. The film is a road movie that reports the work of 4 kanthari graduates in Kenya and Uganda as well as the story of how kanthari came to be. The new official website can be found here

On the 15th of July 2015 we, together with Mr T.P. Sreenivasan, Vice-Chairman and Executive Head of the Kerala State Higher Education and Former Ambassador of India were invited to inaugurate the Commencement Day of RBS-2015 Batch of the Rajadhana business school in Trivandrum. In this occasion we addressed both First and Third Semester students.

Dear Friends,
We say thank you for your ongoing support to kanthari and for helping us by sharing this newsletter.
Applications for the 2016 kanthari course are already welcome via application form on our website!
With very best regards,
The entire kanthari Team, Paul and Sabriye

You can find a downloadable PDF Version with more pictures at



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