Plants for our 3rd kindergarten inauguration and a lot of positive energy

Buying plantsTomorrow is the inauguration of our anganwadi (rural kindergarten) in Kerala, not to fat away from Agali.  Finally. We really look forward to it. A 100 people will join, the kindergarten teacher, local government representatives, village people and we, the project team from the Making more Health initiative and The Karl Kübel institute for development and education. 

The last works are ongoing and we have passed at a rural gardening center to get some nice plants for the children and the anganwadi teacher. 

Very nice plants are there, palms, lemon trees, Curry leave plants, flowers of all kind … It’s really nice to see the varieties all together. 

When we arrive with our plants at the anganwadi building we find a lot of people there. All are very engaged to finalize everything in time for tomorrow.  Some paintings have to be finalized, some are working to connect the water tank with the rain harvesting system, sone others are still busy with the fence. 

Finalizing works at the anganwadiSome helpers come and help to carry the plants inside the kindergarten area. The local government representatives invite us for a chai and proudly show the invitations they have sent out. 

There is a lot of positive energy in the air. It’s a good starting point for tomorrow’s inauguration, isn’t it?

Posted in children in India, development, empathy, health, India, kerala, social impact, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visit at kanthari, a training center for changemakers

Visiting Kanthari in Trivandrum Trivandrum, South India – that’s where kanthari is located. A real beautiful place, a place full of intense life and people who have one thing in common:  being “kantharis”, changemakers in the world. 

kanthari is an accredited international institute that recognizes leadership in those individuals who come from and/or are positioned at the margins of society and have overcome major adversities in their lives. In a 7months training the participants from all over the world are prepared to start and/or develop further their own organisations. 

Talking to the participants, learning about their past life challenges, but most of all about their future plans is a very  intense experience for everybody on the campus. Stories of violence, wars, rape, child marriages, abuse of migrants, gender issues, disabilities and injustice… but what is always the most impressive part in these people is to see the power of change, the hope and huge passion to make the world a little better. 

Talks, a beautiful nature and sea rose pickingI’m pretty sure that – like in the last nine years  – a lot of new real kantharis will be in the world. Some of them are even very known because of their amazing change they bring to the world. Like Paul and Sabriye themselves, the founders and heart of kanthari. 

We had a lot of discussions, talks, learnings and fun together. 

Thanks to both of you, Paul and Sabriye, and all the kantharis in the world!

Related content 

kanthari Website

Posted in change, change and society, development, farming, India, kerala, leadership, Social business, social entrepreneurship, social impact, travel, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good social responsibility requires our personal engagement – because it helps to grow people differently 

The first game tailoring training started one year ago.  The women were keen to learn but they were a little scared whether they could make it or not. Hand embroidery, working on a more complex design, knowing that they were expected to deliver good quality products  … it was not that easy at the beginning to get organized and to form the group, to learn the skills and to be courageous enough to try out. For everyone involved in the project. But it was worth every single step. 

They could. 

Today we have a small ceremony because what these women have achieved is a lot. It is amazing. It is more than what was expected at the beginning of the project. They have produced more than 250 games already, but besides these numbers they have gained much more on a personal level, skills that are changing their way of life. 

With pride they wear now their group Sari which they have designed and tailored for themselves. The are all mothers and work on a daily basis some hours to produce  these games. In this way they  have a small, but continuous income that means much to them and their families. Most of them use the money and invest it in their children’s education, school fees and books. But they are also more respected now within their families. 

Definitely, they have become more self-confident. The times before when we met they just wanted to do their best, but they always waited for exact details how to design our games. This time, it was the first time that they came up with proposals on what could be designed differently; they asked if they could use different design pattern and colors and they would like to develop and realize it, too. It’s an enormous step – even it might seem to be a  small one for whom is used to decide and to come up with own proposals. 

I’m happy to see this development.  We use this games with knowledge cards on different topics, be it for leadership programs in India for business manager, be it for some local. health awareness trainings. 

Why Social responsibility should be done with real engagement 

It would have been easy to ask professionals to produce these games. It just requested a little more of effort to make a change happen in the life of these ladies. Some Corporates who run CSR projects could easily include such activities in close collaboration with NGOs. It jjist request some personal engagement. 

If someone is interested in the game or different educational card sets (nutrition, basic knowledge about it), please feel free to contact. 

Posted in arts, business, change, change and society, children in India, CSR, development, Education, empathy, India, social entrepreneurship, social impact, Tamil Nadu, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social engagement and digital trainings in rural India

Internet training creating shared valueWhen we talk about social responsibility and how companies can do it, we should keep in mind that enabling people to do the next steps on their own is key. In whatever sector we are and how we engage – in every program digital access should be part of it. 

Do you support housing programs? Are you engaged in health projects? Or do you contribute to food or other human needs? 
Have you ever thought about including a basic Internet training ( including the sponsorship of some devices and flat rates)? 

A practical leadership training for your employees and much more insights

For your employees a one or two day training onsite teaching the Internet basics to communities who have no access (easily manageable in collaboration with local NGOs) could be a real leadership experience. And offer many insights that might be relevant also back in the company. Social engagement can create shared value! 

Watch this video: Internet training for anganwadi (kindergarten) teachers 

Posted in change, CSR, development, digital, Education, empathy, health, India, knowledge, leadership, Social business, social entrepreneurship, social impact, video & mobile | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Business of tomorrow is part of a huge ecosystem still to discover

When I was young I learned about birds, plants, stars and planets. About rivers, mountains and cities. In the same way I memorized a lot of other types of information. How to write letters and do calculations, how to do marketing, develop sale strategies and how to post information on several channels. I learned “the letters of the alphabet” which are often the key skills and the basics to climb up the careers ladder. 

 Nowadays, I realize that it’s like knowing all nouns, but not the  verbs. That the perception of how things fit together is a very personal one. That – like in nature (and nature has developed over hundred thousands of years) all is interconnected. All the knowledge and data is meaningless we collect are useless unless we do not see the ecological system that links each part to another. 

You think you can manage your own business? You think that you know how things have to be done? 

In business we think we know what to do to earn money. Wet junk we repeat good practices and it willl work forever. That business and social are separated. That we can do pure business and social is not part of it. We become social in a department of a few people – that’s enough- or if the business year was good we sponsor some social activities. We put the things together like nouns without focusing what is our real purpose. 

We think we are all going in the same direction because our perception is our reality. But there are hundred of thousands different realities.  

We should not believe in our perceptions because they have never been the main aim of our human development. All what nature is doing is to find out how to survive – by being part of the ecosystem and by allowing try and error approaches. Always. 

Today everyone talks about innovation

It’s a common understanding that innovation will help to be successful even tomorrow. But all innovation should be part of what we think it’s right or wrong, based on our processes, our culture, our beliefs. Are you sure?

We should allow to be more openminded at work, to think beyond our own departments and beyond traditional processes, and to permit and support as much as possible a try and error mentality that might not even make any sense to our own realities – there are so many things to discover we are not even aware of. But in the nature there is all evolution knowledge. 

It’s time to discover. And to innovate. Back to the nature, grow within the ecosystem we live in. 

Posted in change and society, CSR, leadership, managing change, Social business, social entrepreneurship, social impact | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment