kanthari TALKS Bangalore 2018

Quarterly Newsletter 4-2018


The wooden gate of the kanthari campus closes behind us. It is incredible how time flies, it seems like yesterday that we started the first kanthari leadership training in 2009. And now we just finalized the tenth course! During this special year we had a group of 23 participants from 13 countries. They have now all returned home to make a positive impact for many people in their own communities.

Dear readers, supporters, and friends of kanthari, it is time for the final quarterly newsletter of 2018. As usual, please find below the highlights of the past three months as well as updates on kanthari graduates’ projects.

2018 kanthari course

Every year in act three the kanthari participants present their social venture to the public. To do this, they organized a day-long International Fest for Social Change that was given the name ‘Spread the Spice’. The event was held at Manaveeyam Veedhi Street in Trivandrum. Social issues from different regions of the world, combined with possible solutions that are creative and relevant were presented to the many visitors. The event asked participation of the public through dialogues, interactive sessions and games with focus on five key issues – women empowerment, alternative education, disability rights, critical thinking and environment. Act four is all about public speaking and preparations for the big leap returning home to start their projects.

kanthari TALKS 2018

This year was special as it was the tenth kanthari course! To celebrate this, kanthari TALKS, the annual event where the participants deliver a 10 minutes dream speech was re-located to Bangalore. This year’s kanthari TALKS took place on the 24th and 25th of November in the St John’s Auditorium in Koramangala. During this two day lasting event, all 23 participants gave
their dream speech followed by a ten minutes interactive Q&A session with a group of 3 to 4 subject matter experts. Special thanks goes to Mr Murthy, Mr Malhotra and Mr Belcher for making this event possible.


Certification 2018

The final highlight of the year took place on the 7th of December when the annual certification ceremony was held at the kanthari campus. This event marks the successful completion of the first 4 acts of the kanthari ‘a Journey in five acts’ Curriculum. Chief guest Dr Rajan Gurukkal, who is the Vice Chairman of Kerala State Higher Education Council, together with the kanthari founders handed over the certificates to all participants. In the days that followed the participants returned home for the start of Act five “Run, Jump and Swim!“. Returning home brought joy meeting families and friends but at the same time reality kicked in. With the kanthari ‘tool-box’ in hand we hope that all of them are sufficiently equipped to master the challenges that lie ahead.

kanthari award 2018

Every year, kanthari recognizes a person/or organization that brings about a positive social change in society. This year “Our Family Clinic”- a model developed by 4 young doctors who are trying to create a viable primary health care model that can be replicated in the different parts of the India was selected to receive the kanthari award 2018. The first OFC clinic was opened in 2014- April, at Karunapuram in Idukki where 90% of the population are plantation workers. Following that 10 different clinics were opened in tribal districts, rural areas, among coastal communities in Kerala as well as the rural areas of Mandya district in Karnataka. Access, participation and equity are key factors. So far this venture has reached out to 100,000 families in South India. Dr Shamnad represented Our Family Clinic and received the award.
kanthari certification ceremony 2018

Updates of kanthari Graduates:

To learn more about the impact of kanthari graduates we wish to share some updates about already established initiatives;

An-Anya – Gouri Shankar Mishra – India (2015 kanthari)
When Gouri planned his project while still at kanthari, we were a bit worried and asked him if he counted on 36 hours days and if not, we would be worried about his health. Soon we became to know that it is amazing what one person and a team of volunteers is capable of doing.
“An-anya” stands for “unlocking potentials of children and communities”. Children learn how to think critically to identify the issues and address issues at their own. Till date, 328 Child Clubs with a total number of 6235 members are formed in 49 gram panchayats in Kandhamal, Sambalpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Khurda district. Recently An-anya started “Aagei Chala” (Move Forward), an initiative to ensure enrollment of child laborers and dropouts into the educational system, this has resulted in 31 school dropouts and 28 child laborers now regularly going to school. More at http://an-anya.org

Springboard – Lawrence Afere, Nigeria (2012 kanthari)
Lawrence Afere was the first in his family who moved to the big city to study. After getting his MBA, he could have gotten well paid positions, however he decided to return to his home region to take action in order to reduce increasing unemployment. He founded Springboard. Starting with the name “The Youth Farm Project” in 2008, Springboard has now trained over 3000 farmers and over 500 rural women entrepreneurs in organic farming resulting in the establishment of over 2000 farms and over 500 village enterprises in more than 20 communities in Nigeria. And our Farm to School Africa program currently benefits over 4000 students in several High schools in Nigeria. Read more about the impressive work at www.springboardnig.com

Future Vision sighted blind inc. – Lorena Acula – Philippines (2013 kanthari)
Lorena is a passionate woman who envisions a country in which blind and visually impaired as well as sighted youth are encouraged to live a life guided by their own vision regardless of their gender, beliefs or disabilities. Being blind herself, she therefore started Future Vision sighted blind inc, an organization that provides training to blind youth so they are able to go to regular schools as well as universities. More details here

2018 kanthari award and beneficiaries of Springboard Nigeria


Start Now – Alieu Jaiteh – The Gambia (2011 kanthari)
The 5th of December marked world volunteers day. Alieu Jaiteh – 2011 kanthari graduate, Mandela Washington Fellow class of 2015 and Founder of Start Now was recognized by UN Volunteers and National Volunteers Network The Gambia received the 2018 volunteer award in recognition of his continuous work towards humanity and national development. He dedicated this award to all persons with disability as they continue a struggle for empowerment, inclusion and equality. Learn more about Alieu’s work here

Leemah – Miatta Mulbah – Liberia (2015 kanthari)
Rape was endemic during Liberia’s civil war, which raged through the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Sexual exploitation and violence have remained rampant, and studies show young girls are the most vulnerable. Miatta founded Leemah, a non-profit organization that uses music and street theater to advocate for and raise awareness among girls and young women (ages 11-25) who face challenges of sexual violence, abuse, and poverty in Montserrado and Margibi counties,. Leemah strives to change the mindsets of vulnerable Liberian girls, and the broader community, to understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens and to rethink their future. Watch a short video here

Freedom on Wheels – George Thomas, India (2013 kanthari)
13 years ago the life of George Thomas changed drastically when he met with a road accident. Ever since, George is bound to a wheelchair. This however has not changed his positive spirit and actions. A 2013 kanthari graduate, George is an activist who creates awareness about safety in traffic as well as road discipline. He also fights for better accessibility for wheel chair users in Kerala. Read more about George’s work here


2018 Maja Koene Peace Award – Every year the Center for Experiencing Socio Cultural Interaction (CESCI) honors 5 people with a Maja Koene Award. In memory of eminent psychologist and journalist from Switzerland, Maja Koene, the awards are given in a few categories; Two awards go to journalists, two further awards go to social activists and the last category is for people who work for a more peaceful world. The founders of kanthari, Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg had the honor to receive the Maja Koene Peace award 2018.

Beneficiaries of Leemah in Liberia and Maja Koene Peace Award 2018

kanthari in the media:

Times of India: Cleaning Lake Vellayani
Indian Express: kanthari – a-melting-pot-of-ideas
The Hindu: kanthari – small Steps – BIG changes
and a small Chili can make a Huge difference 
Deccan Herald: kanthari TALKS 2018

Lake Vellayani

Over the past few years, Lake Vellayani has been infested by several exotic plant species. Especially an explosion of growth took place after the devastating floods that hit Kerala last August. At kanthari several participants and colleagues have been actively cleaning the lake of water Hyacinth, Lotus and 5 more endemic species. It takes however more manpower as well as special machinery to save Lake Vellayani. Water means life and action is needed now to save not only this, but many other water bodies around the globe.

Intake 2019

The next kanthari leadership training course will start at the end of April 2019. The intake process is ongoing. 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 and supporters,
The tenth kanthari course brings the total number of trained participants to 206 from 45 countries.
Our graduates are changing the lives of thousands of people around the world. All of this would not have been possible without your help.
Therefore, on behalf of all our participants, we say thank you very much for your ongoing support.
Thank you also for helping us by sharing this newsletter.
We wish you a healthy, happy and peaceful new year!

With warmest regards,
the entire kanthari team, paul and sabriye


To do the work we do we need your support
You can support us here – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
www.facebook.com/kantharis   –   www.kanthari.org


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *