Quarterly Newsletter 2-2014
Dark clouds cover the Sky, a brief hissing sound is coming closer and raises its volume. It sounds like
a train that speeds through the countryside. Suddenly rain starts pouring down and brings some
coolness in the heat of the days in the very South of India. The monsoon set in only a few days later
than predicted. The cooler air was very welcomed by the 22 new participants that started the 2014
kanthari training course on the 12th of May.
Dear friends and supporters,
We have nearly reached the half of 2014 and therefore it is time for an update of the developments
at kanthari. The last few months have been very exciting. It involved a lot of travel, meeting
kantharis in action in Africa, spreading the kanthari spice via presentations and media.
kanthari goes Africa
In April we travelled to Kenya, Uganda and Ruanda where we visited 12 kanthari graduates and their
projects. We were very inspired by the results of their work. It is amazing to see what, despite very
challenging circumstances, they have managed to achieve.
Ojok Simon (2012 kanthari graduate) from Gulu, North of Uganda has already successfully trained
38 blind and partially sighted people to become beekeepers. All of the graduates of HIVE Uganda
Limited are able to make a living.
Monicah Wanjiru fights against female circumcision in the Massai community in Olepolos in Kenya
which is a tough job as this traditional practice is very much “settled” in their culture and mindset.
Stephen Onyang lives in a village near Kisumu (South West Kenya) where 33 percent of the
population died because of AIDS. He has lost family members due to the pandemic. He and his wife
Mary run “Hope restauration centre”, a home for aids-orphans.
Stephen Onyang with two of his beneficiaries Massai Warriors in the work area of Monicah
Jane Waithera, fights against the discrimination against and the killings of Albinos in Kenya and
Tanzania. Harriet Kamashanyu from Kampala, Uganda, empowers daughters of sex-workers to
become health workers. These are just a few examples of kanthari graduates that we visited.
Tomasz Kozakiewicz, a 2013 kanthari graduate from Poland and Marijn Poels, a Dutch documentary
maker, joined the journey and documented everything on video. They are now working on the
editing of a documentary film that will be released in the summer of 2015. You can find a 5 minute
teaser of the film at: http://vimeo.com/marijnpoels/kanthariplus
2014 kanthari course
On the 12th of May, 22 participants from Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal,
Nigeria, Serbia, Uganda and Zimbabwe started the 2014 kanthari course. All of them brought
dreams for social change. During the 7 month action packed and very hands on practical Curriculum
they will learn skills that are required to turn their dreams into reality. During the first week the
participants were encouraged to show their talents during the traditional Talent show. The
audience was treated with lots of songs, dance- and music- performances.
Project presentation at St.Gallen Symposium
On the 8th of May we shared the kanthari concept and philosophy with students and business people
at the St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. This symposium is the largest of its kind in the world,
organized completely by students.
Local training activities:
April saw many activities at the kanthari campus. Three different training summer camps were
organized by three different organisations:
– Jyothirgamaya, the mobile school for the blind led by 2013 kanthari graduate Tiffany Brar
organized training for partially sighted youngsters and adults from Kerala. The program included
mobility, orientation, daily living and Braille skills.
– Chakshumathi offered 30 blind and partially sighted children training in Mathematics, computerand
– Genderless is a movement founded by 2013 kanthari graduate Soni SR. A gender education
workshop including lots of role plays and theatre was held for boys and girls in the age group of 11
Over the past few months kanthari was presented in the media.
Here a few links to articles; The Moon: Blindness is no barrier
kanthari graduate Tiffany Brar meets former Indian President; The Hindu
Sabriye Spoke at a meeting with members of the the Chennai Super Kings Cricket Team:
Meet & Greet with Chennai Super Kings
A long article appeared on the online National Geographic website
An article was published in the St.Gallen Tagblatt (In German)
Applications kanthari 2015
The next kanthari course will start in May 2015. For those who have overcome adversity and
because of that carry a plan for social change, apply now via our website www.kanthari.org
We wish everyone a wonderful summer and we say thank you for your ongoing support to kanthari.
We also say thank you for helping us by sharing this newsletter with your families, friends and
With very best regards,
Paul and Sabriye
www.facebook.com/kantharis – www.kanthari.org
You can download the newsletter in a PDF format including additional pictures at: