Wanted – amazing people!


You come home, turn on the TV to watch the news. Unfortunately it’s hard not to conclude that we are living on a planet in crisis. Wars, poverty, discrimination; people lacking access to clean drinking water, food, education, healthcare; and the climate is changing.

On a daily basis, the majority of the world’s population is heavily impacted by these issues and more. When we look at the leaders of this world, we can also conclude that they are not doing a particularly good job at addressing these matters. It is not the lack of resources and money that are the problem – both are available. The problem is a missing focus on implementing solutions.

In order to provide local solutions to tackle the above mentioned challenges, we need individuals who have the guts to challenge the status quo; those who carry a plan for social change that will make a difference.

Kanthari in Kerala, south of India, is an international program where individuals who have been affected by social ill, are trained so they are able to start personal social projects or initiatives. A kanthari is a plant that grows wild in every backyard of Kerala – a small but very spicy chilli with a number of medicinal values. For the Kanthari team, a kanthari will become the symbol of a new type of leader – a leader from the margins of society.

Over the past 4 years 77 visionaries from 30 countries have been trained and they have started over 45 new social projects around the world. Just to mention a few:
* Monicah in Kenya is fighting female circumcision,
* Jane from Kenya is fighting against killings of people with albinism,
* Pynhoi from Meghalaya in India provides education for blind and visually impaired children,
* Sahr Yilia provides a better future for ex-child soldiers in Sierra Leone,
* Yoshimi runs libraries for a rural population in Thailand; and
* Beatriz runs a school for blind students in the remote villages in Peru.

All kantharis who bring an amazing ‘fire’ to their work.

The practical hands-on training course runs from May to December every year. Applications for the next course starting in May 2014 are required by December 15, 2013. Applicants need to have good English skills, basic computer skills, and most of all carry a plan for social change. Do you know such individuals?

Many times it happens that people will say, one person cannot make a difference… When that happens, simply reply with “Just bite into a kanthari, and you’ll soon know that a small chilli can make a HUGE difference!”

Kanthari project in IndiaSee the Kanthari website for more information about the training and an on-line application form. A terrific short promotional video is linked here.

Kanthari was established by the fabulous founders of Braille Without Borders in Tibet – which receives support from travellers through The Intrepid Foundation.

About the author

Jane Crouch - Jane is a responsible business guru who writes about all aspects of how travel can bring positive environmental, social and economic benefits. Informed through travel on seven continents, leading Intrepid trips through SE Asia, work in outdoor education, energy conservation, international development, philanthropy and climate change action, plus a big love of walking, mountains and world music.

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