Quarterly Newsletter 2-2015
the year 2015 has reached its half way point and a lot has happened during the last quarter. Today we want to share the latest developments with you.
Visit to Uganda and Rwanda
In April we travelled to Uganda and Rwanda to explore possibilities of how the kanthari spice can be spread beyond kanthari graduates. We found that a kanthari training model can only be copied when it is driven from insiders, so in other words locals. We also met up with several graduates and learned that despite many challenges, a lot of social impact is being realized among all of them.
Finalization of Act 5
the 2014 kanthari course ended officially on the 31st of May 2015. During the first 5 months upon returning home to start up their projects, the kanthari graduates received mentoring from the kanthari catalysts as well as a stipend. This was the first time that this approach was taken and we noticed that more projects were registered much earlier in comparison to previous years. An evaluation is ongoing to check how act 5 can further be fine-tuned in order to smoothen the startup phase for next kanthari generations to come.
Start of 7th kanthari course
On the 11th of May 2015, 24 participants from 14 countries, Australia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, United States and Zimbabwe, joined together at the campus in Trivandrum for the start of the 7th kanthari course. In the previous 6 course 117 participants from 35 countries have graduated which has led to over 70 social projects and initiatives reaching thousands of beneficiaries till date.
The new participants were soon drawn into the kanthari Curriculum and in to Tansalesea, the fictitious country in which they have practically learn how to start social projects. To learn more about this year’s participants please have a look at their profiles
Change in Curriculum
During the first few months the kanthari team in Kerala has been very busy with the preparations of the 2015 Curriculum. One major change is that in the new Curriculum the internship is moved forward. Now, Right after act one, the participants will do their one month internship in an organization, company or school anywhere in India. Upon return they will start with what used to be act two: Change for Change. In this act it is all about creating a positive impact in local initiatives and projects.
In this newsletter we introduce a few projects from 2014 kanthari graduates;
– Nana from Ghana asks the following question: “Why does Ghana, a country with rich and fertile soils and a favourable climate, import daily agricultural consumables from countries that have virtually desert like conditions?” Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah started Guzakuza, an NGO which intends to transform the mindsets of young women to see farming as a viable career option. Learn more at her websiteguzakuzagh.org
- – Nelson Owoicho from Nigeria knows that having access to books is key for anyone’s empowerment. Therefore he started the organization “Education for Change”. Recently, a book for change campaign was held to create awareness about the importance of education as well as to raise books and funds for young people in rural areas. Reading 4CHANGE is a movement that will continue until every child in all parts of Nigeria has access to quality education and educational resources regardless of their socio-economic background.
- – Tapiwa Gwenlisa Marange is an ambassador against intolerance! Her organization Alive Albinism Initiative is providing support for people with albinism in Zimbabwe. In cooperation with the Zimbabwe School’s Development Association, Gwen tries to make the society understand what albinism is all about and how to prevent stigmatization. Learn more about her valuable work via the following article
- – We all were shocked when the news about the devastating earthquake in Nepal reached us. Two 2014 kanthari graduates, Sarita Lamichhane and Nagendra Resal luckily survived but as many Nepalis they were confronted with numerous challenges. Continuing their planned projects was suddenly impossible. Immediately required was support for blind, handicapped and people from lower casts. This task was taken up by Sarita, Nagendra as well as by 2012 kanthari graduate Sristi KC. Next to food and blankets, temporary shelters were built for several families. Sarita has adapted her training for blind people immediately, she has now added a very important “what to do in case of earthquakes” element. She witnessed first-hand that the blind who are usually left out were also left out when it came to evacuation of buildings when the earthquake happened. The blind will need to learn how to reach a safe place by themselves. Exactly this will be included in future empowerment trainings. We wish all nepali kantharis as well as all the victims of this disaster lots of strength and courage to rebuild their lives and nation.
kanthari in the media
– DC Books Education Insider published an article about women entrepreneurs
– A 12 page article with many pictures appeared in the springtime edition of the French Magazine Femme Ici et Ailleurs.
– “Testing ground for Changemakers” was the title of an article that was published in the Sunday edition of the Deccan Chronicle on June 7th 2015
A new documentary that was produced by kanthari graduate Tomasz Kozakiewicz and Dutch film-maker Marijn Poels will premiere this fall. The title of the film is “kanthari – change from within” and the film portraits the work of 4 kanthari graduates from Kenya and Uganda as well as the story of how kanthari came to be. The official trailer of the film can be seen here
In the fall of 2015 a new book with the title “The dream-workshop of Kerala, changing the world is something you can learn” will be published in German in Germany. Hopefully an English version will become available soon. Kiepenheuer & Witsch ISBN 978-3-462-04717-2
In April 2015 we shared our experiences with Royal Visio in Huizen in the Netherlands. Royal Visio has been a supporter of BWB and of several blind and partially sighted kantharis for many years.
On the 7th of April 2015 our dear friend and great supporter, Sushil Pillai, passed away. We will very much miss him as besides being a good friend he was a great adviser.
We say thank you for your ongoing support to kanthari and for helping us by sharing this newsletter. Applications for the 2016 kanthari course are already welcome via application form on our website! We wish you all a wonderful summer, With very best regards,
The entire kanthari Team, Paul and Sabriye
A PDF version of this newsletter with more pictures can be downloaded here