Sabriye Tenberken

Social Change Maker

“The right to be blind without being disabled” is one of Sabriye's mottos. If you are looking for someone who has a different vision on the world, is passionate, can energize an audience and who has twenty years of hands-on experience in running social impact making ventures in challenging surroundings, Tibet and India, then Sabriye is the right person.



Sabriye Tenberken

Sabriye Tenberken became blind at the age of 12. Instead of drowning in self-pity, Sabriye created a path of opportunity. She discovered the beauty of Blindness, developed the Tibetan Braille Script, and together with her boyfriend started the first school for the blind in Tibet in 1998. Nowadays she runs the educational hub Kanthari. Through an immersive, hands-on and intensive training program Kanthari equips participants with all the techniques, methods and ideas they need to start up and run effective, relevant social projects all over the world.

Sabriye is passionate about catalysing visionaries from the margins to realize sustainable social change.

Since 2009, 183 social change makers from 41 countries were trained at Kanthari. This has already resulted in more than 130 social initiatives and organisations that are making a positive impact in the lives of thousands of people within their communities.

  • Blind is beautiful, a journey of concept transformation
  • Power that lies in the Margins of society
  • Change from Within
  • Books: My path leads to Tibet
  • The seventh Year
  • The Dream workshop of Kerala, learning to change the world

“Sabriye and Paul are powerful and inspirational speakers that demonstrate the extraordinary social impact that individuals can make in their communities and on the world. Beginning with Sabriye’s dream of changing the lives of blind children in Tibet, the two of them have made an incredible impact against the odds – starting the first school for the blind in Tibet, as well as the renowned Kanthari Leadership Training Centre in the South of India. Kanthari empowers change makers from the margins of society who have overcome adversity to make a difference in their communities. Listening to Sabriye and Paul speak reminds us all of our potential to do the same.”  - Dominic Barton, Managing Director of McKinsey & Company 

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