Welcome to kanthari TALKS

Change makers from 8 countries present their captivating life stories of resilience and hope. Join the livestream to listen to inspiring solutions for global and local problems.

17th & 18th
December 2021

We are counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds with you! 

What are kanthari TALKS?

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.

PROGRAM

Mirranda Tiri

FRIDAY 17-12-2021

Session 1: Youth empowerment

15:30-16:40

– Do we allow ourselves to dream and break out of our traditions?
– Are we true to ourselves?
– And are we able to rescue our planet? 

Young social change makers from India and Zimbabwe address topics of crossing inner and outer borders, finding their confidence in the wilderness, and ringing the alarm bell to change our habits.

Abhilash John: (India)
Date: 17.12.2021 Time: 15:30-15:50
Locked in a cage of constrains and expectations, Abhilash John was not able to dream and follow his personal path. A street child helped him to challenge his fears, to set him free to explore his strengths and passions. Through his social venture, Khoj, he offers “the great Indian treasure hunt”, An adventurous journey for Indian youngsters to break out of their parent’s dreams.

Mirranda Tiri (Zimbabwe)
Time: 15:55-16:15
Sexual abuse, abandonment by her closest family members, and withdrawal from society marred Mirranda’s childhood.
Her only window of finding her truth were a few years in wilderness of Namibia. But she did not let all these adversities define her future. Instead, the 20 years’ old change maker now plans wilderness camps for young girls to discover their true self.

Akhina Mohan: (Kerala, India)
Time: – 16:20-16:40
“Nothing makes me more furious than the mistreatment of our environment. However, I never had the courage to stand up and speak!” says Akhina, who was only pushed out of her silence by the 2018 Kerala floods. The relief work made her understand, her actions can make a difference! Thus, she starts “Alarmo”, an action group, driven by youth, inspired by the belief that our environment can be saved.

Biman, founder of Bon Forest

Session 2: Transform India

17:10-18:20

– Don’t we need to change our food habits to save the environment?
– Can we break out of our binary concepts?
– And: Does anyone have an excuse when it comes to preventing global warming!
Three environmentalists and social change agents from the northern part of India want nothing less than to transform the culture of their beloved home country.

 
Biman Roy (West Bengal, India)
Time: 17:10-17:30
Growing up in rural India in the 90’s and having studied in different parts of India, and in Sweden, Biman is well aware of what we lose when we disconnect from nature. According to him, diversity of food is one of the most important connectors. With his organisation Bon (in his local language: Forest), he wants to shift the focus of the members of his home community to more diverse food. This is done by supporting them to grow native crops, introduce kitchen gardening, and by creating food forests. 
 

Niwas Kumar (India/Bihar)
Time: 17:35-17:55
The Indian culture is characterized by gender norms. from early childhood onwards, every aspect of daily activities are clearly dedicated to girls or boys, Men or women. what to play and with whom, Where to sit in buses or canteens, and what professions to enrol in is strictly defined. children face discrimination in schools if they are non-conforming. Niwas is asking, why is gender so important in the education of a child? With his organisation Anantmool, he wants to start a gender free learning centre. He believes that anyone can learn anything if social and practical barriers don’t exist.

Shivani Kumari (Jarkhand, India)
Time: 18:00-18:20
Since the last IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on climate change) report in 2021, the world seems to be in shock. But why? Shouldn’t we have known all this long before? The question is, what can be done to open people’s eyes and shift their mindsets? Action needs to be done, but now everyone can and should contribute, especially those who have caused the most devastating impact.
According to Shivani and her organisation WILD, No one should find excuses to relax. Even those who are most affected and who are usually not expected to act: The unemployed, the chronically ill, those who lose eyesight due to pollution like herself. “Our action will underline the urgency and people will say: “If they can, why not us?

Frank Ekow

Session 3: Social Change through Entrepreneurship

19:30 - 19:50

– How can we combine poverty alleviation, women empowerment, and environmental protection?
– Will we be able to connect food security and waste management?


Both social entrepreneurs from western Africa, offer ideas which demonstrate that business can be fair and environmentally sustainable.

Frank Ekow Arkorful (Accra – Ghana)
Time: 19:30-19:50
Growing up in the slums, Frank’s teenage dream was to become a gang leader. But observing the hard work of his mother to save her three boys from becoming criminals, he became a women’s activist, interested in engaging in the Shea butter production, a sector mainly occupied by more than 900000 women farmers in Rural Ghana. Their operations contribute significantly to the sustenance and development of their homes and the country. These women, however, do not receive the recognition or remuneration they deserve, as they face poverty and exploitation by middlemen. With his social enterprise, “Fair Shea”, Frank wants to make a drastic change. He wants to see a Ghana famous for shea being traded fairly, organically grown, and environmentally sustainable.

Adegbite Tobi Gabriel (Nigeria)
Time: 19:55-20:15
Farmers in Nigeria face many challenges, and because of inadequate practices, many are in debt. An additional problem is organic waste that is left to rot, contaminating the environment, releasing methane (a greenhouse gas) and causing odour. Being a farmer himself, he faced all these problems. However, he found that a small insect, the black soldier fly, could be the key to a sustainable solution. Through his organisation “Entojutu”, Tobi offers a new solution for old problems, a solution that has the potential to revolutionize our current farming practices.

Tobi
Aisha

SATURDAY 18-12-2021

Session 4: Fight discrimination, advocate for mental health

10:30-11:40

– Can we afford taboos around menstrual health in the 21st century?
– Have we ever considered health and well being of the senior members of the LGBTQ community?
– Can we establish a healthier society through a widespread network of lay mental health counsellors.

Social change makers from East, south and West Africa are addressing taboos, discrimination, and mental well being.

Juliet Omondi (Kenya)
Time: 10:30-10:50
“Imagine yourself in a crowd and you unexpectedly have your periods, yet you have nothing to manage it with nor anyone to talk about it.” Juliet is addressing a widespread taboo in Eastern Africa as well as in many other countries in the world. We write the twenty-first century and still girls and women face exclusion from schools and community events while they have their menstruation. Juliet and her organisation Paro Manyien (Mindset shift) want to change the narrative around this taboo through awareness among church & community leaders.

Tyrone Havnar (Nyanga, Zimbabwe)
Time: 10:55-11:15
Being gay and living in Zimbabwe, Tyrone experienced first-hand how challenging it can be to access health care. But he is still young and healthy! Now, imagine what it must be like for an old gay person, disowned by his family, with no one to help him once he becomes ill? This is the change he wants to create through “total together”: Tyrone plans to start an old age home for the elderly and ill of the LGBTQ community, and advocate for existing facilities to be inclusive.

Aisha Abdullahi Bubah (Nigeria)
Time: 11:20-11:40
Nigeria, with a population of over 212 million people, can only offer 250 Psychiatrists and an even lower number of psychologists. Roughly, only one out of a million Nigerians have access to mental health support. Aisha’s organisation Idimma envisions a world with strong support systems that foster mental wellbeing, through community-involved support programs that train lay counsellors and psychological first aiders with a strong referral system.

Session 5: Peace and Empowerment

12:10-13:20

Geeta

– Have you ever asked yourself how we, the disabled survive in war, in floods, forest fires, storms and earthquakes?
– Can civil war be a cause of inequality?
– Will women empowerment prevent gender based violence?

 

All three social visionaries come from war or post war countries and experienced discrimination, inequality and gender based violence.

Nematullah Ahangosh (Afghanistan / and all around the world)
Time: 12:10-12:30
Imagine during an armed conflict, you are tied to a tree, impossible to escape violence. You see death hanging on the shoulders of angry men in form of a rifle. Your heart is racing and you are fearing for life. Nematullah is physically disabled and he says: “We, the disabled, face this situation daily, in countries of civil war, in earthquakes, storms and floods. Wherever there is a crisis, we have only limited possibilities. We can duck down, hide and might be forgotten. This must change; we have to survive by taking our own safety into our own hands. Therefore, I will start “Stretch More”, a mobile empowerment parkour, in which we can empower ourselves through survival skills, entrepreneurship, leadership and sports activities.

Geeta Dangol Maharjan (Nepal)
Time: 12:35-12:55
Suddenly, there were bombs everywhere; Nepal was not safe anymore. The Nepalese civil war (1996 to 2006) started due to political conflicts and left Nepal in a deep crisis which is still felt in many sectors. Unemployment, poverty, inequality is the after math of this unrest. With her organisation Orange Butterflies, Geeta plans to create a change by empowering single women who are often left behind.

Joseph Christophe Kone (Guinea Conakry, West Africa)
Time: 13:00-13:20
“At age 7, I witnessed rebels capture the city of Gbarnga. My mother fled with my sister and me to our village, where we witnessed atrocities against women by the rebels. We sought refuge in a nearby cave until the ceasefire. When life slowly returned to normal, I discovered a passion for radio. This was the beginning of my radio broadcasting journey, a journey to overcome injustice against women.

Puneet

Session 6: Change From Within

14:30-15:15

– How can we escape the prison of our own inability to communicate?
– How will we survive the prison of our own surrounding?

Two change makers from India and Zimbabwe take us on a journey from overcoming adversity to change from within. Their stories are touching and breath taking and their interventions challenge our own limits.

Puneet Singh Singhal (India / New Delhi)
Time: 14:30-14:50
Witnessing violence in his personal surrounding shook him and took him to an island of isolation and loneliness. From a child who loved to be in the spotlight, he has changed to a stammering, timid boy who tried to avoid any conversation. Today, Puneet embraces his special style of communication and through his organisation ssstart, he dreams to set free those who are prisoners of their inability to communicate fluently.

Precious Kiwiti (Zimbabwe)
Time: 14:55-15:15
“When I got married, everything was perfect and in place, living in a beautiful home and not lacking anything. Then one day, “Boom!” The love of my life started to mistreat me, regarding me as worthless, beating me as he pleased.”
Precious was raped, choked, and chained. She even became the victim of a mock execution while her husband wanted to demonstrate his new gun. Being a survivor, She wants to restore hope, resilience, and dignity for women to move beyond a life shedowed by violence. Her organisation “Precious Hearts Haven” plans to work towards the elimination of gender-based violence against girls and women in Zimbabwe by establishing safe places for women in emergencies.

kanthari alumni map

Speakers from Around the World

Speakers come from Afghanistan, Ghana, Guinea, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

kanthari TALKS - Narayana Murthy

“kanthari TALKS is an event I recommend joining; A unique opportunity to get inspired by change-makers
who come from the margins of society and who present their solutions for a better tomorrow.”

Mr. Narayana Murthy

founder Infosys

Portrait of Ms Priya Joshi

"kanthari TALKS was a turning point for me. I first attended kanthari TALKS a few years ago and it was an exceptional experience - educational, emotional and inspiring; all at the same time. The 'dream speeches' of kanthari participants transported me to many different countries and communities, exposed me to deeply rooted social issues and reminded me of the incredible power of human spirit and will. It is an event without any boundaries; equally meaningful to everyone – students, professionals, social change makers, entrepreneurs, policy makers and absolutely anyone else too. I am eagerly looking forward to kanthari TALKS 2021!"

Ms Priya Joshi

Former Managing Director, HR

WHEN AND WHERE?

This year’s kanthari TALKS will take place at the kanthari campus in Trivandrum..
Due to Covid-19 there will be a restricted number of people in the live audience.
All performances will be livestreamed

kanthari

Vivekananda Nagar, Ookkode, Nemom PO, Trivvandrum, Kerala 695020, INDIA
www.kanthari.org

DATES 17th / 18th DEC

Friday 15:30 - 20:20 Hours IST
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00 hours IST

Are you a changemaker?

You know the change society needs… We just give you the tools…  
Do you carry a plan to make a difference within your community and are you looking for a leadership training course to acquire the necessary skills? Then check out the kanthari Curriculum and apply to become a participant in the next kanthari course that starts in April 2022. Apply today at www.kanthari.org/admission

kanthari leadership program