Nineteen students from Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Nepal, Zimbabwe, and India are ready to become leaders of social change, after their seven-month training at Kanthari, an organisation that equips persons to start their own social initiatives.
The participants of the training programme will now return to their respective countries to start their projects. In the past seven batches of the programme, 141 participants from 38 countries were trained. This has resulted in over 100 projects that impact thousands of beneficiaries. The 10-minute-long ‘dream speeches’ of the participants are available on Kanthari’s official website.
Inaugurating the graduation ceremony held on Friday, economist M.A. Oommen said Kanthari stood for true development, which was not the rate of growth or expansion of commodities, but the building of capabilities and the widening of choices available to people.
The theme of this year’s graduation was ‘Change from Within.’ On the occasion, this year’s Kanthari award was presented to Bimla Chandrasekar, Director of EKTA Resource Centre for Women, for her work to empower women and banish gender stereotypes.
Why the name
Kanthari is the flagship programme of Braille Without Borders, a charitable trust founded by Sabriye Tenberken, Paul Kronenberg, and Rajabhadresh in 2005.
The name Kanthari was chosen to underline the fact that a single person can be equipped to empower whole communities, just as the small but extremely spicy chilli possesses valuable medicinal qualities.
Kanthari is located on an eco-friendly campus near the Vellayani lake.