Quarterly newsletter 3-2016

Autumn has arrived so it is time for the 3rd quarterly kanthari newsletter. Please find below the highlights of the past three months as well as updates on kanthari graduates’ projects.

2016 kanthari course

In June all participants said goodbye to Tansalesea. During the first 10 weeks at kanthari the fictitious country of Tansalesea played an important role in the Curriculum. The participants lived in Tansalesea where many real life situations were simulated. It was an intensive period with many built in moments of practical learning.
Act two was split into two major parts. The first few weeks were used for field visits to learn directly from organisations who are working on social change.  One group went to visit Sristi Foundation, the inclusive village that was started by 2012 kanthari graduate Kartikeyan. Another group of participants who are interested in alternative forms of education visited Project DEFY (Design Education For Yourself) of Abhijit Sinha who graduated in 2015. Till date Project Defy has already opened 4 maker spaces. At both places they got a first-hand insight of challenges and achievements. During the second part of act 2 all participants worked on their venture profile; a toolbox that will later help with fundraising.
Currently Act three is on its way. During this act, the participants are in charge of organizing a campaign. The theme this year is ‘Saving Lake Vellayani’. The kanthari campus is located on the banks of this unique fresh water lake. It is said that the lake hosts more than 80 species of (migratory) birds and many more different kinds of insects. There are several threats to the existence of the lake that many people are not aware of. The participants will work together with the local community to raise awareness.


2016 participants during group work in a session

kanthari graduates

In order to learn more about the impact of kanthari graduates we wish to share some updates about already established initiatives;
The Gambia:
Start Now, the organisation of two Gambian kantharis: Alieu Jaiteh and Charles DeGold has finally moved to the newly built Brikama Rehabilitation Centre along Brikama New Town Highway. There the next group of visually impaired graduates is empowered through training in computer skills. Congratulations Alieu and Charles with this great milestone!
Nepal: Dedicated disaster risk management and recovery training for visually impaired women proves extremely valuable in Nepal where earthquakes form a threat! Sarita Lammichane, 2014 kanthari, continues her mission to empower Nepalese people with visually impairment despite all challenges. Check out her fully accessible website
Nepal: Sristi Kc, founder of ‘Blindrocks!’ received the National Youth Award 2016 from the Nepal government’s youth and sports Ministry. Congratulations Sristi. More information about the work of BlindRocks! can be found here
Liberia: An inclusive Liberia! Nelson Kardor is reaching out to dozens of organizations and thousands of people through his unique radio-program Echo-Community Radio Services Inc. Every week about 20 people are invited to call in during the broadcast timings to express their views on how the society can be more open towards persons with disability.
Zimbabwe: Yolk business Academy in Harare Zimbabwe opened its 5 months practical Business Management & Entrepreneurship course for widows and single mothers in 3 locations: Mabvuku, Highfields and Chitungwiza. Gram Tinashe Makwarimba, or better known as Carter is currently looking for volunteers to support Yolk in a variety of areas! Anyone who wants to volunteer can contact Carter at carter2014@iiseconnect.org
Nigeria:   Felix Iziomoh, 2014 kanthari, from Nigeria organized a five day leadership and vocational progamme for several hundred students. The sessions included: HIV / AIDs Stigma workshop, Career path / development, Internet Safety / Cybercrime Awareness, Goal Settings / Goal Mapping etc. More about Felix’s work at Center for Leadership Development Nigeria
Philippines: Lorena Acula from the Philippines and her team of ‘Future Vision Sighted-Blind INC’ are working hard on the inclusion for visually impaired students (counselling, teaching, mobility training etc.) Recently 3 new beneficiaries joined and Melvin who has been in the program for a while, now enrolled into university!
Brasil: Anja Pfaffenzeller, founder of Bats in Action – ‘Morcegos em Ação’ Preparatory School for the Blind in Brazil received a new student coming from 1000 kilometers away! Jefferson found out about the program online, as he was looking for a place where he would be able to learn to cope with daily life. He went blind as a teenager, now he is learning the skills to continue his education and lead an independent life.

Boat trip on lake Vellayani and memorable visit to Press Club

kanthari change makers network

Biggest kanthari reunion in Europe so far. The alumni network of kanthari Change-makers are creating an online peer learning portal for youth workers from marginalized communities around the world. The project has been co-funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Union. The reunion takes place in Poland. During the first week of the training Anja

Pfaffenzeller, Tomasz Kozakiewicz, Jessica Schroeder, Samuel Odwar, Tiffany Brar and Yoshimi Horiuchi delivered peer sessions on: curriculum development, peer support, intercultural communication and how to deal with volunteers. All with the goal to achieve more strength through solidarity!

kanthari in the media: 

–  the kanthari training course has been mentioned on several forums and websites, for example on
opportunity network for Africa.
– In August an article about kanthari was published in the Manorama Newspaper in Kottayam
– A brief interview (in Dutch) was published by Peel en Maas in Holland

Dream Speeches 2015 online:
Did you miss the livestream of the 2015 kanthari participants’ dream speeches. No worries, the inspiring talks have been uploaded on the kanthari youtube TV channel. You can watch them via the links at https://www.kanthari.org/kanthari-talks-dec-2015/

Rajan with his campus-grown snake-gourds and Actor and screenwriter Srinivasan (right)

kanthari campus

During the past few months our colleagues have been working hard on maintenance and development of the kanthari campus. The fishpond welcomed 1500 fingerlings of different kind of fish species. The carpenter has been working on the construction of a Duck pond and we hope to welcome ducks soon as well. Ravi, our gardener is constantly pruning and planting flowers, shrubs, and trees. Rajan, our other gardener, makes sure that on a daily base plenty of bio-vegetables can be harvested. These form a healthy addition to the meals that are served at kanthari.


Kerala has a few actors that stand out. One of them is Sreenivasan, a well-known Indian film actor and screenwriter. He has created a new dimension in the Malayalam movie industry through humor and simplicity. He has broken the conventional stereotypes of a ‘Hero’ in Malayalam cinema. Sreenivasan has written for over 50 films and has acted in over 200 films. He cares for nature and is a fan of green technologies, this brought him to kanthari. We learned that Sreenivasan is a true Purple kanthari. Purple kantharis use art to make a positive difference!

Intake 2017

The next kanthari leadership training course will start in May 2017. We have already started the intake process. We are grateful if you can help by spreading the intake flyer within your network so it can reach potential social change makers who are looking for a course that will empower them to start their own social initiatives and programs.

Dear Friends/supporters,

our work would not be possible without your support. On behalf of all our participants, we therefore say thank you very much for your ongoing support.
Thank you also for helping us by sharing this newsletter.
With very best regards,
the entire kanthari team, paul and sabriye

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