Change from Within
Trivandrum, Kerala, South of India
Projects of Good Work Award
Winner (2021)
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In a world that is bombarded with negative news every day, the future seems to look bleak.   However, there are some people that don't accept the status quo. They go against the stream, have overcome adversity and because of that developed a sense of ownership, motivation, passion and have the strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance. We call such change leaders ‘kanthari’.  A kanthari is also a very small but extremely spicy chili that has lots of medicinal qualities, for us however it is a symbol of a powerful change leader.

According to kanthari’s philosophy, ethical social change is more sustainable when change is created from within and initiated by those who faced adversity. They know what the problems are, they speak the local language, understand the local culture and history, and have practical and realistic solutions at hand. Through the experiential Kanthari Curriculum, these change leaders acquire tools that are needed to start and run impact making social ventures.

Kanthari started its first program in 2009 in Trivandrum, Kerala, South India. Between 2009 and 2019, 226 social visionaries from 48 countries around the world were trained in education/learning, disability, environment, human rights, technology, art, mental health and many more.  Currently kantharis are active in 130+ social ventures that are reaching thousands of beneficiaries who are located on the margins of society, every day. www.kanthari.org



Empowering Social Visionaries

Kanthari in Trivandrum, Kerala, South of India, offers a 12 month leadership program for visionaries who have overcome adversity and who are keen to drive ethical social change.  Kanthari equips participants with tools that are required to start and run an NGO, organisation or social venture: project planning, accounting, fundraising, developing policies, Curriculum development, venture profile, public speaking, branding etc.
All hands-on practical workshops are conducted by a group of international experts we call catalysts.

Kanthari fosters participants from all over the world. Some have university degrees while others have little to no formal education. Some are blind or physically disabled, others have no disabilities at all. What is important is a sense of ownership, motivation, creativity, talent and passion to create a positive social impact in their communities and have the strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance.

Kanthari is the Authorized training center of the Vocational training program of Bharath Sewak Samaj (BSS), National development agency, promoted by Govt. of India.

Kanthari is the flagship program of Braille Without Borders Charitable Trust.
BWB Charitable Trust was registered in Trivandrum, Kerala on 25-01-2005 and carries the registration number 45/05/05


Why kanthari?

A kanthari is a plant that grows wild in every backyard of Kerala, a small but very spicy chili with a numerous medicinal values. A kanthari is also a symbol for those who have the guts to challenge harmful traditions and the status quo, who have fire in their belly and a lot of innovative ideas to make a positive difference. For us a kanthari will become the symbol of a new type of leader – a leader from the margins of society. The “kanthari” chilli comes in five colors, each one is dedicated to a different type of social change agent: kanthari Colors


Our kanthari graduates cover amongst many other, the following topics:
Protection of Environment
– Water shedding
– Food security
– Agriculture
– Waste management
– Animal husbandry / beekeeping
– Forestation
– Seed banks of indigenous plants
– Lake and river protection
– Slum development

Human rights
– Domestic Violence
– Sexual harassment
– Peace and conflict management
– Tribal conflict
– Interreligious – Intercultural Dialogue
– Female circumcision
– Discrimination
– Killing of Albinos
– HIV and Survivors of epidemic diseases
– Migrant workers
– Good Governance
– Street children
– Sex workers
– Empowerment of women, widows and single mothers
– Empowerment of prisoners
– LBGTQ rights
– Human rights / Child right
– Superstition
– Investigative Journalism

– Alternative education
– Tribal education
– Empowerment of youth through Art, Entrepreneurship training and Advocacy

– Empowerment of the blind
– Integration
– Mental health and addiction
– Equality in the working place