Quarterly Newsletter 4-2019
“Where is everybody when the children on the streets are crying? Where is everybody when the children on the street are dying? I see nobody when I look left or right. I see thousands of children when I look back from where I came and it is bleak and unclear when I look forward. Are these children invisible or are they not children enough to be children? According to UN report of 2014, over 150 million children live on the streets around the world. According to the New Vision Ugandan newspaper over 15000 children live on the street. These children have been pushed away from home due to several factors like the recent civil war that claimed thousands of lives, alcoholism and child neglect, domestic violence and child labour coupled with psychological torture. But, Where is everybody? My organization Obeno is a street academy that uses creative and performing arts as a medium to advocate for, inspire, empower and heal the hearts and minds of homeless children.” This is part of the dream speech that Emmanuel Otim from Uganda, 2019 kanthari participant and the founder of Obeno gave during the 2019 edition of kanthari TALKS!
Thanks to your support, we were able to train another batch of effective social change makers. To be able to train the next generation, we are asking for your help. Make a donation here today as it will help to increase the impact that kanthari is making across the world. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your being a partner in our journey of change!
In this newsletter, we will talk about the highlights of the past three months as well some updates of our alumni and their social ventures.
Act three ended with the ‘kanthari Spread the Spice’ event, a public happening that was organized by the participants. It was the first time that they presented their social venture ideas before a public audience. During this event, a whole street in Trivandrum was turned into an exhibition. Each one of the participants decorated a stall in which they exhibited pictures and other info materials about the problem they want to address and through conversations and interactive games, the audience learned about their planned interventions. To make their ideas accessible and understandable, Faruk Musema, who wants to introduce adaptive sports to Northern Uganda, used a participatory method to show how effective reversed inclusion works in wheelchair basketball. Ragunath, a tree lover and a passionate bicycle activist from Pondicherry, organized a bicycle rally and a tree planting event.
Act four included 3 major events: Water Day, kanthari TALKS and kanthari certification.
Waterday: In an intensive week, our participants learned all about water, from saving, collecting, testing to cleaning. Inspired by these learnings, a ‘water-day’ event was organised by the participants. Several students of schools and colleges visited the campus. The day included many activities: Discussions about global water crises, games, interactive technology, all with the goal to get a better understanding about this very valuable resource.
Reverse inclusion during Spread the Spice
Water day 2019
Act four always ends with a big bang; kanthari TALKS. In the weeks leading up to these TALKS you will find participants practicing their speech anywhere on campus, on the pedal boats, between the ducks, in the vegetable garden, on terraces, roof tops, amphi theatre etc. Dream speeches are 10 minutes performances which can include multimedia, theatre, songs and/or dance, followed by a 10 minutes Q&A by an international panel of experts. Here the link to Emmanuel Otim’s Dream speech.
This year, we combined the speeches with a food for thought festival. Nine different snacks from nine different countries were offered to the audience.
On Friday the 6th of December 2019 the annual certification event took place to round up the first four acts of the kanthari ‘a journey in five acts’ Curriculum.
kantharis award 2019
"When Meenakshi Umesh was studying in school, she was asked to write an essay on the topic 'My School', but she didn't write about her school. Instead, she wrote about the school she imagined she could study in — one without a rigid curriculum, classes, strict teachers or exams. And as you can expect, her teacher was not pleased and tore up her essay. Years later, Meenakshi set up the school of her dreams, the Puvidham Learning Centre in Dharmapuri. The sole aim of the school is to make a child happy and it does a brilliant job of that...." This is the start of an article (see link) about Meenakshi Umesh. For her inspiring work, Meenakshi was recognized with the 2019 kanthari award for social change. We congratulate Meenakshi and wish her and her colleagues all the very best to continue her path breaking work.
Updates of ventures of 2018 kanthari graduates
Uganda: Lighta – Omona Innocent - Dream Speech Omona
Omona’s organization ‘Lighta’ sees a society where young people affected by HIV/AIDS are change agents. One of the tools that Lighta uses is vocational training. Just now, 19 of 20 students who were selected for a 4-month lasting training in organic farming have successfully graduated. Each participant was responsible to grow vegetables on a personal plot and are now able to grow vegetables by themselves. We congratulate everyone and wish Omona continued success! www.lighta.org
Nepal: Pahichan – Ichhya KC - Dream Speech Ichhya
Pahichan, which means ‘Identity’ is a Nepalese non-governmental organization that is committed to empower marginalized women with disabilities through creating a communal environment where unmarried, divorced and widows live, learn and work together. Recently, Ichhya KC was recognized with the best social activist award as well as received a grant from the Funding Network (TFN) in London. Congratulations Ichhya, we wish you and your team continued success! http://pahichan.org/
Thailand: Hinghoynoy – Ruangtup - Dream Speech Ruangtup
Ruangtup is the founder of Hinghoy Noy, an organization that uses animations to address cultural taboos. During the Imagine a Feminist Internet conference last November in Malaysia, Hinghoy Noy was recognized as a digital movement that solves social problems. In 2020 Hinghoy Noy will launch an anti-cyberbullying campaign. It will be launched on the safe online platform Hinghoy Noy club, a space that supports children and youth to talk about any taboos freely. More at Hinghoynoy
Emmanuel Otim during kanthari TALKS 2019
kanthari 2019 award recipient Ms. Meenakshi Umesh
Updates of projects of kanthari graduates
Nepal: Prayatna – Sarita Lamichhane (2014) - Dream Speech Sarita
Prayatna Nepal is an organization that seeks to empower visually impaired girls and women with daily living-, employability- and self-defense-skills in Nepal. Due to stigmatization and superstition, many people with visual impairment and/or other disabilities face discrimination. Prayatna Nepal conducted a Five days ‘Fight Back’ training for visually impaired women who are usually helpless in the face of sexual and physical violence. Now these they can stand up and defend themselves. More info about Sarita’s work is available at http://www.prayatnanepal.org/
India: Lets Live – Sherin Noordheen (2017) - Dream Speech Sherin
Sherin Noordheen lost her father to suicide at the age of 6 and grew up with the stigma of suicide and mental health issues in the social context of a conservative Muslim middle-class family in Kerala.
After finishing her studies, she worked for corporates in IT space for close to 10 years during which she realized that her happiness is in being of service to those who undergo mental and emotional health issues. Having experienced depression and suicidal ideation herself at a young age, she understood the significance of non-judgemental listening and support in the field of mental health, especially amongst youngsters. After completing the kanthari course in 2018, she started her organisation Let’s Live. http://letslivekerala.org
kanthari in the media
Intake Selection 2020
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/
the year 2019 has passed by in an incredible speed and our participants have returned home to start their social ventures. THANK YOU for your ongoing support.
On behalf of all of our participants and colleagues, we wish you a wonderful Christmas and an even better new year!
Many greetings from the Vellayani Lakeside,
The entire kanthari team, sabriye and paul