kanthari TALKS 2018
kanthari TALKS are the culmination of our intensive, hands on, seven month social leadership program. Throughout the program, our participants from around the world work on turning their dreams of social change into a tangible and implementable action plan. These change makers then go back to their communities armed with the tools they need to challenge the status quo and build their dream projects. The kanthari TALKS give the rest of the world an opportunity to get a taste of these spicy kantharis.
In just 10 minutes, each participant will educate, entertain and humble you with their stories, dreams and action plans for a better society. Their projects cover the areas of protecting the environment, human rights, alternative learning and empowering the marginalized.
Time: 09:30 - 17:30
Gikufu‘s story is not uncommon among those who grow up in the slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Many are denied access to formal education, live in poverty and end up indulging in drugs, crimes and living on the streets. Having overcome stigmatization and now empowered, Gikufu’s dream is to provide media and film training, and mentorship for children and youth from the Mukuru slums. They will be able to tell their stories in creative ways, and develop a positive mindset on life.
Having witnessed his friend being electrocuted when his kite got stuck in overhead power lines, traumatized Satya for many years. India has one of the world’s highest number of fatalities due to electrical accidents, especially among farmers. Satya founded a social enterprise that addresses the lack of awareness and response preparedness among villages in Telangana. Through practical training on safety, Satya has been able to save the lives of many farmers and prevent unnecessary accidents. He is the youngest kanthari of 2018.
Omona’s father passed away due to HIV/AIDs when he was a child. His mother was accused of bewitching his father and was chased out of the community. Omona understands the discrimination and lack of access to healthcare and education that orphaned children and youth in rural Uganda are facing. His dream is to start a social entrepreneurship centre that provides skill training for orphans to generate income. He also wants to provide scholarships and medical services for his beneficiaries.
Marlyse lost interest in learning when she constantly received low grades at school. After battling to regain her self-esteem, she now wants to help children and youth in Cameroon who have the same struggle. She believes that low graders also deserve scholarships and good job opportunities, and she is on a mission to helping children discover their passions and realize that their dreams are valid.
While working with marginalized rural communities in Tajikistan, Sohibjamol realized the lack of facilities for disabled children to access sports and games. Being a professional chess champion herself, she started to envision a chess club for disabled children. She will provide training and facilities, and prepare them to enter professional competition.
Deforesation is a huge problem in Cameroon. Limbi wants to train local women add value to non-timber forest products like seeds, fruits, barks and leaves, to reduce dependence on timber-selling. This will increase family incomes and increase the opportunities for local girls to get quality education.
Pragya was trained as an architect, but sees the limitations of the current architectural practices in Nepal. Her vision is that architecture should not only be a commercial tool, but a tool for creating socio-economic impact. She will focus on earthquake-hit areas where many become homeless and unemployed, and offer training in youth entrepreneurship.
Trevor's vision is to establish Purple Hand Africa, a safe space for LGBTQI youth in Zimbabwe, where they can access psychosocial support; vocational and entrepreneurship skills development. His dream is that LGBTQI youth will be empowered and society will recognize them as contributing citizens.
Priyanka has extensively traveled and worked across a number of states in India. Her journey started with an internship opportunity in the Himalayas in 2014 which later proved to be the first step towards her passion for experiential learning through travel. “Like many young women, my first-time experience of traveling and living alone was full of fear and anxiety. We are conditioned to believe that the outside world is dangerous and we are safer in our houses. This mindset has kept us dependent on our families. I seek to build confidence and a sense of independence for women like me by providing experiential learning exposure opportunities”, she says.
Opiyo is an experienced radio producer and presenter in Uganda who wants to use his skills to mentor persons with disabilities and help them build a career in the media field. He founded Attitude Africa Media Space, a radio academy in which he will enable blind and partially sighted to use radio as a tooo against stigmatization, and advocate for the rights of the disabled.
When Cavin’s parents and oldest sister died of HIV/AIDS, his own community discriminated against him. This experience gave him the passion to empower girls and young women, equiping them with skills to earn sustainable livelihoods without falling victim to “sex for fish”, which is rampant the Lake Victoria region.
Time: 09:30 - 17:30
Ruangtup’s father passed away when she was twelve, but her family did not make that known to her. Topics like death, divorce, and sexual orientation are considered taboos in Thai society. She eventually found console through a fiction book about death. Since then, she made it her mission to create children’s books that openly discuss ‘sensitive’ topics and help children face the realities of life.
In Selassie’s community in Ghana, women constitute the majority of the population and the informal livelihood sector. They often become objects of abuse or are considered witches at old age. Selassie’s vision is to create a population of economically empowered women by providing technical, vocational and entrepreneurship skills training and microfinance to enable them to generate their own income and start formalized micro-enterprises.
Kabir’s dream is that his brother, and all persons with intellectual disabilities and their siblings will not be sidelined at playgrounds because of stigmatization and inadequate sports facilities. Through his organisation, Oniruddah Bangladesh, Kabir's vision is to create a Bangladeshi society that thrives on solidarity and empathy towards people with disability and their family members.
Lacking resources and exposure, children from Tunisia’s rural areas often have no choice but follow a set path determined by societal norms and pressures. Through experiencing the Arab Spring first hand, Ranya recognized a need for open debates. Through starting a human library, children will become intellectually independent so that they can choose their own paths and create their own future.
India’s caste system still exists in many areas, and children deemed as “untouchables” have poor access to quality education. Bharat’s first-hand experience of marginalization prompted him to envision an integrated learning environment where the marginalized can be empowered through quality education, and children from all caste backgrounds have equal opportunities to learn.
Navina was born blind, and her experience of inequality probed her to work to reducing the gap between people with and without disabilities. She believes that sensitizing the public about equality and human rights will lead to more equal opportunities for the disabled in education and employment. Navina's goal is to empower blind people through the creation of a cooking and catering service of tasty snacks.
Facing a difficult and very challenging childhood inspired Odunayo to start "Love Letters Child Support Initiative" to provide free and quality education to children from socially and economically marginalized communities in Nigeria. She wants to start an alternative learning platform that promotes creative and critical thinking in rural children, and empower them to become agents of transformation in their own circles.
Ichhya wants to start an organisation with the name Pahichan which means 'identity'. In Nepal from childhood, girls are prepared to become women who take care of their husbands, family and households. Therefore girl's identities are reduced to be a loving wife and a good mother. Due to the fact that blind women are considered not to be marriagable, Ichhya says 'we are lucky, because we have complete control over our identity and lives". She therefore wants to establish a communal living centre which demonstrates to the Nepali society that there is a life beyond cultural norms.
Lorena is the founder of Fundación Comparlante, an online accessible platform where people with disabilities can access quality products and services. Her wish is to bring a positive change in Latin Amarica where persons with disabilities are often excluded, vulnerable and invisible.
Dave is an artist and environmental activist. His mission is to restore Lake Victoria which is being destroyed by illegal sand harvesting, pollution and fishermen’s conflicts. He founded the NAAM Festival, where young people use arts to promote the conservation and restoration of the Lake. NAAM also offers skill training for young people to find alternative means of income to ease pressure on the water resource.
Brian started WEYE - Waste to Energy Youth Project to help low-income families access clean energy for cooking, and tackle youth unemployment in Uganda. Young people will be equipped with practical skills to produce briquettes from organic waste, which reduce the harmful effects of commonly-used firewood and charcoal. They will also acquire entrepreneurial skills to start their own business.
Kerlinda found joy and satisfaction in her years of work in rehabilitation for children with slow growth and physical impairment. Her dream now is to establish an early intervention centre for children with disabilities in the rural areas of Meghalaya. The centre will provide training on early identification for the rural population, referral services, and prepare children for schooling and socialization.
Speakers come from India, Argentina, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tunisia, Tajikistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand.
Mr Narayana Murthy
– Founder – Infosys Limited
Time: 09:30 - 17:30
Time: 09:30 - 17:30