welcome to kanthari TALKS
22 Solutions for social problems
Change-makers from 11 countries
15, 16 DECEMBER 2023
22 Solutions for social problems
Change-makers from 11 countries
15, 16 DECEMBER 2023
kanthari TALKS are the culmination of our intensive, hands on, seven month social leadership program. Throughout the kanthari 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.
Speakers come from Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Liberia, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
Exciting times: For many of the participants it is the first time to be on a stage giving a public speech and most of them
English is not their native language!
So let’s encourage them the best we can!
Day ONE… is DONE!
But don’t worry… Watch the TALKS again, click HERE
FRIDAY 15-12-2023, 11:30-13:05 IST
Are we still able to rescue our planet? Don’t we need to change our agricultural habits to save the environment? Are we prepared to save people and our planet from mountains of waste?
Four Environmental advocates from Jordan, Nepal, India and Myanmar present their life stories, the challenges they faced and the unique solutions to problems that are of our all concern.
Malak Alamar from Jordan
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 11:30-11:50 IST
Malak grew up in refugee schools and witnessed how refugees have suffered from hate speech and poor living -conditions. Coming from a family with Palestinian roots, she faced the same problem of discrimination before. By identifying the impacts of climate change and the hostile relationship it would create among the people as a major threat to them, she decided to bring young refugees and Jordanians together to find solutions for climate resilience and peaceful coexistence through her organisation Sanaubar.
Krishna Hari Dulal from Nepal
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 11:55-12:15 IST
A vibrant community, thriving in the hills of Sindupalchoak, Aarukharka where greenery meets mountains and a nearby river serenades the landscape. Families work together during the planting season, children play in the muddy soil, and laughter fills the air … This is Krishna’s dream. Surviving in the streets of Kathmandu, begging for four months, taught him lessons no book could teach. Today, Krishna is determined to serve youth in rural communities through organising Ashabhumi, a model farm that will inspire you to develop love for their home villages and farming work.
Keerthi Selvaraj from Tamil Nadu, India
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 12:20-12:40 IST
Growing up in a conventional religious family restricted her opportunities to explore. Despite her limitations, she began photographing birds because their beauty captivated her. While recording them on an international data platform, Keerthi learned about their role in maintaining biodiversity. This inspired her to explore wetlands and forests where she saw bird habitats under threat. Through Kuyili, she educates students about the importance of birds and environmental care, along with the community people, and now she starts cleaning up the lakes and conducting tree plantations in forests and wetlands.
Myat Tun from Myanmar/Rakhine
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 12:45-13:05 IST
Myat grew up in a small village surrounded by a salty creek full of mangroves, no internet no electricity, just the simplicity of rural life. In 2013, a child once without any dream became a nature enthusiast. With the experiences and knowledge in nature conservation, Myat returned to his home state, Rakhine to empower rural youth in sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and nature conservation through the Permaculture Institute Myanmar.
Disability, capability, visibility, 4 vibrant examples of how we can shift the paradigm!
Koppula Vasundhara From Hyderabad / India
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 14:00-14:20 IST
At age two, she was diagnosed with polio. Overcoming many challenges, Vasundhara completed her education and secured a job. Despite proving herself, she faced discrimination and pity by her employers. In 2014, she founded a company and organized events to support disabled people. To empower the disabled, Vasundhara aims to create DE-HUB, an incubation center promoting disabled entrepreneurship and inclusivity in the business sector.
Bone Sit Paing Hmoo from Myanmar
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 14:25-14:45 IST
Bone Sit Paing Hmoo became blind at the age of 13. Despite continuing his education in a special school, he experienced frustration of having no job perspectives besides massage. Many blind youth go through the same struggles. Therefore, with Canedom Academy, he wants to provide training to empower the blind with basic abilities to make the right choices and to be fit to integrate into any new work environment.
Anubha Singhal from Delhi, India
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 14:50-15:10 IST
Anubha loves to travel. she always lived a comfortable life, until age 17, when she was diagnosed with a rare condition, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Despite the challenges, she embraced the new obstacles and her entire outlook on life changed. Her career as an architect also shifted, as now she brings the power of design to change the lives of many people with” disabilities, promoting inclusivity through her organisation EnableMe Access
Wilfred Gewon from Liberia
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 15:15-15:35 IST
Wilfred became blind at the age of ten. Back then, he wanted to end his life. But due to the love of his parents and a good education in a special school, he learned how to use challenges as a stepping stone for higher goals. In 2014, he started a school to empower the blind in basic computer skills which will now become a centre for computer sciences.
Social change makers from Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and India are addressing taboos, discrimination, and marginalization. But they won’t stop at the problem, all four of them are ready for shifting mindsets and pushing boundaries.
Mary Mutua from Kenya
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 16:10-16:30 IST
Mary has survived the slums, where drugs crime and prostitution was a daily companion. She tried to escape all challenges and was hired as a housemaid, where she was ill-treated. Despite all odds, she managed to study hotel management and worked in the hospitality industry and discovered the dark side of it. There, she noticed the gaps between hospitality training and the reality where marginalized youth are looked down upon. Her dream is to transfer her already existing hotel management college to Twajali, a center where slum youth are trained in all managing skills to find their personal way through life.
Abel Mvendaga from Nigeria
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 16:40-17:00 IST
Born with Albinism, he faced discrimination, stigmatization and poverty. Sometimes he walks the scourging sun just to get Education even barefooted. Fist for fist was his answer for bully classmates. But when he left the village for getting a university education, Abel decided to become a volunteer with The Albino foundation and in 2020 he founded CAREN (Center for Albinism Rights and Empowerment network) to advocate and promote albinism rights.
Mutongi T. Kawara from Zimbabwe, Mashonaland East Province
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 17:05-17:25 IST
Born HIV positive, Mutongi lost her parents to HIV/AIDS-related illness at an early age. From then onwards, she had to move into different relatives’ homes. There she was sexually harassed and constantly reminded through discriminatory comments that she wouldn’t have a future. This destroyed her will to live. Working with orphans who had a positive outlook on life regardless of their HIV status or hardships sparked her purpose in life to start Mukundi to provide safe and enabling environments for other orphans.
Anand from New Delhi, India
Date: 15-12-2023, time: 17:30-17:50 IST
His love for theatre led him back to the slums of Delhi where his family lived in a tiny 8×10 square-foot room and all members regardless of age contributed to their survival. Anand juggled jobs as a scavenger, security guard, data entry operator, Uber rider, and hotel worker. Knowing first-hand the struggles of slum children, he uses theatre to help them identify their goals beyond the slum and pursue them. His Theatre initiative Anurvana (New beginning), is more than just providing fun. It shall open a door to full life opportunities.
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 19:00 - 19:55
Are we able to counter violence through peaceful communication? Do we allow ourselves to dream and break out of our traditions? Two social change makers from crisis zones are ready to present unconventional solutions to existential problems.
Emmanuel Lumumba from northwest Cameroon
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 19:10-19:30 IST
“Walking down the streets of Bamenda, in Cameroon’s English-speaking region, we are confronted with violence, war, and death on our way.” At university, Emmanuel studied the philosophies of peace activists and developed a passion for peacebuilding. There has been ongoing armed conflict in Cameroon since 2016. Politicians and warlords are inciting and instrumentalizing youths into acts of violence. Therefore, he is engaging idle youth in peacebuilding activities in Ndabuchiseh (Center for Peacebuilders Training)
Bosede Nwachi from Nigeria
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 19:35-19:55 IST
Bosede faced rejection and negligence from her father all through her life. Also her husband left her and her children, even right after giving birth to twins. She had no choice but to struggle with multiple businesses to provide for them. Despite discrimination and stigmatization, she thrived and became a leader in business organizations. Her challenges inspired her to start Akinkanju, (brave) empowering single mothers, widows, and vulnerable women through training them in alternative construction industry.
Sristi KC from Nepal
founder of Blind Rocks!
Date: 15-12-2023, Time: 20:00-20:20 IST
Born sighted, Sristi became blind at age 16. Despite surgeries and challenges, she defied expectations, excelling in education. After she attended kanthari, she founded Blind Rocks, empowering blind individuals globally through interpersonal skills, dance, fashion, and adventure.
Day two… is also DONE!
But don’t worry… Watch the TALKS again, click HERE
Date: 16-12-2023, Time: 11:00-12:40
Four Social change makers from India, Malawi and Nigeria work with children to build next generations driven by creativity and energy to face future challenges.
Sara Tandel from Mumbai, India
Date: 16-12-2023, Time: 11:30-11:50 IST
As a survivor of sexual abuse in her childhood, she knows that child safety starts at home. Sara was taught to unquestionably obey elders, even if it meant silencing her voice. Adults unknowingly foster submission in children, making them vulnerable. Her family’s loving yet controlling approach silenced her leading to abuse and distress. Through Mukhlasi , she intended to change this attitude by empowering caregivers to encourage assertiveness in children.
Ifeoluwa from Nigeria
Date: 16-12-2023, Time: 11:55-12:15 IST
Born with albinism, Ifeoluwa faced rejection and isolation. Her mother’s unwavering love protected her from societal prejudices. But after her passing, living with relatives worsened the isolation and discrimination. Meeting and interacting with parents of children with Albinism, made her understand that she was not alone in facing all these challenges. This gave her the idea to create Ìrètíọla (“Hope for Tomorrow” in Yoruba language), a space where children with Albinism can find their new identity, where they can learn how to care for themselves and live independent lives when they grow up.
Nelson Kamoyo from Malawi
Date: 16-12-2023, time: 12:20-12:40 IST
Growing up in rural Malawi, going to school hungry and having one meal per day was the norm. As the last-born in a large family, Nelson often skipped school to support his family. Witnessing his siblings thrive after completing their education inspired him to work hard and break the chains of poverty. Now, he is dedicated to empowering children with food literacy and sustainable farming knowledge to alleviate malnutrition and child poverty. Thanzi-265 is a mobile kid’s kitchen with attached vegetable garden. Thanzi means Health and 265 as not only the country code of Malawi but 2 stands for: raw or cooked food, 6 for the six nutrients needed for a well-balanced diet meal, 5 for the five tastes)
Olakunle Joshua from Nigeria
Date: 16-12-2023, Time: 12:45-13:05 IST
A fatal bus accident had caused his eyes to be temporarily blind for two months. This gave him a glimpse into what it feels like to be visually impaired. The experience formed his passion for special education. The training he had and the experiences he gained in the years of working with the blind and deaf, resulted into the dream and passion to start an early childhood kindergarten for visually impaired children. In “Swing High!” he will empower little children to have a dynamic start into life.
Date: 16-12-2023, Time: 14:00-15:35
Get ready for 4 Social change makers from Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Indonesia who address a variety of topics: Albinism, Rural development, Water security and Leprosy.
Sherleen Tunai from Kenya / Kakamega,
Date: 16-12-2023, Time: 14:00-14:20 IST
It took her 25 years to accept that she has albinism. Sherleen yearned to belong and she hated how she looked. As a child, she started designing clothes for herself because she wanted to look as good as her dolls. Having albinism is not a limitation. Sherleen wants to empower other persons with albinism to come to the point of acceptance and self-confidence her initiative Ana Antani (I belong)
Karan Singh from Nepal / Kalikot
Date: 16-12-2023, time: 14:25-14:45 IST
Oda village’s remote location poses challenges in accessing healthcare and quality education. The death of his father due to lack of medical care forced Karan to quit school and work at the age of 14. In 2013, he turned his mom’s cowshed into a clinic, and later, with villagers’ and government support he built a hospital and eventually a school. Through his Oda Foundation Karan wants to improve rural lives in Kalikot.
Itohan Iyawe from Nigeria
Date: 16-12-2023, time: 14:50-15:10 IST
Her childhood experience with water scarcity had a negative impact on her education and health. However, while working with an NGO she got an opportunity to learn more about the struggles of rural communities and farmers who are affected by lack of access to water. This became a major concern for her as she was shocked to know that the water problem still exists, and it has even gotten worse. This moved her to start “Omitide” (Water has come), a program to aware small scale farmers and village communities about water management for in a dryer future.
Johny Sulistio from Indonesia
Date: 16-12-2023, time: 15:15-15:35 IST
After his retirement as a doctor, Johny decided to work with cows to regain some purpose in life, during which he encountered a leprosy patient with a late deformity. Because of stigma, they are diagnosed and treated late. This and their ostracization pains him. To address this, he wants build House of Ketupat, to provide a homely joyful environment where health professionals, and community members including people living with leprosy care for and empower each other.
"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."
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 2022!".
Ms Priya Joshi
Former Managing Director ,HR
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 2024. Apply today at www.kanthari.org/admission
Since 2009, 250+ participants from 50 countries were trained at the kanthari campus in Trivandrum, Kerala, India.
This has resulted in more than 160+ social initiatives and organisations that are creating a positive impact in the lives of thousands of people within their communities and therewith contributing to a more peaceful world, every day.
At kanthari our aim is to annually train 20 – 25 leaders:
25% people who have a DISABILITY
The course is a final stop before starting an own organisation / venture /NGO or social enterprise.
If you are selected, a scholarship will be provided.