Sabriye Tenberken (German)

Knowing what it is to be marginalized, Sabriye Tenberken developed an intrinsic interest to create ethical social change. She studied Tibetology / Central Asian Sciences at Bonn University. Traveling on horseback through the Himalayas she discovered that Tibetans who in majority are Buddhists have a stigma against people with disabilities. Especially blindness is seen as a punishment for something you have done in your previous life. Accordingly blind children are often neglected, locked away in dark rooms or sent to the streets to beg for money. Experiencing this situation inspired.

Sabriye, together with Paul Kronenberg started the first school for the blind in Tibet. This school formed the foundation of Braille Without Borders, an organization that empowers blind people to take their lives in their own hands. In 2005 she and Paul founded kanthari in Kerala, South of India. kanthari fosters participants from all over the world, who, like Sabriye, have a passion to make the world a better place and strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance. Sabriye is the driving force behind the academic program.
Next to being a public speaker, Sabriye is the author of “My path leads to Tibet”, a bestseller that has been translated into 13 languages. She also starred in the award winning documentary ‘BLINDSIGHT’. Sabriye Tenberken became fully blind at age 12.

Awards and recognitions include among others;

2016 – Gandhi Darsan International Award
2011 – INCITE Excellence in Social Entrepreneurship Award
2008 – Gov. of China: One of 15 most influential overseas experts over the past 30 years in China.
2005 – World Economic Forum, Davos (WEF). “Young Global Leader
2005 – nominated for the Nobel Peace Price.
2005 – Bundesverdienst Kreuz
2004 – Time magazine Asia’s HERO 2004 and European HERO 2004 award.
Sabriye has been recognized multiple times for developing the Tibetan Braille Script

Paul Kronenberg (Dutch)

paul kronenberg is a “Social-Changineer”. With a technical background graduating in mechanical engineering, computer science, commercial technology and data-communication system science, he focuses on the running and operational management of kanthari. Paul is a fervent eco-friendly and cost effective “open hardware” technology and architecture fan. He is always on the lookout for answers that will help to build a better tomorrow; be it physical in terms of technical solutions, or be it mental, strengthening the self of others.
Paul and Sabriye have developed the unique kanthari “Journey in five acts” Curriculum; an intense experiential and hand’s on learning experience that provides social change makers with necessary tools to start and run own social ventures.
As a public speaker, asking questions like “why?” and “why not?”, paul uses wit and humor to mirror the true shape of the world that makes one think and reflect about what can/must be done differently to become part of solutions.

Awards and recognitions include among others;

2018 – Maja Koene Peace Award
2012 – Bornheimer Award by the Europe School in Bornheim, Germany
2007 – Mother Theresa award
2005 – National Fundraising Award 2005
2003 – Queen of Holland knighted Paul in the “Knighthood in the order of Oranje Nassau
2002 –  Albert Schweizer Award.