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  Project description     Updated: FEB - 2009

International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE)


Do you know that 9 out of 10 visually impaired children in developing countries have no access to education?  

The  organization Braille Without Borders believes that  this situation can be changed, particularly by  visionaries who are blind/partially sighted themselves. 

After establishing the well known Braille Without Borders training center in Tibet with its unique concepts of empowering the blind to take their own projects in their own hands, the organization is now taking a next step: The realisation of the
 International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE).

Through the IISE Braille without Borders aims to empower especially those blind and visually impaired people who feel an urge to make a positive change in their country, society or surrounding.

In a one year's course the IISE will train 25 to 40 participants (age 18+) who have the right initiative, motivation and potential to become a good leader, establish and run their own social projects.

For the 2011 course BWB is looking for motivated, engaged and talented participants.
Participants for the year 2011 should apply for a full scholarship.
Please listen here for more information:

Deadline for sending in the application forms is 30th of May 2010

If you have a dream and you want to learn how to realize it, please fill out the following

Braille without Borders sees blind and visually impaired people who have gained self confidence by overcoming obstacles in life as natural detectors of social problems in society. Through the battle against daily discrimination a number of blind and visually impaired people developed strength and are able to act as problem solvers in their own surroundings.

Therefore the IISE will especially focus on participants who are blind and/or partially sighted. Over a one year's course the participants will be practically trained in management, fundraising, PR activities, project planning, computer technology, English, communication and soft skills. After this training they will be in a position  to fight for their rights, to negotiate with governmental leaders and help to change the attitudes towards marginalized groups through setting up social and/or environmental projects in their own regions or countries. 

In order to ensure high quality training the IISE will accommodate a maximum of 40 participants per annum. The institute will be run by a national and international team of highly qualified facilitators (catalysts).


"Not every day do you wake up, build an institution and begin changing the world"

Our search criteria for staff members will be creativity, motivation and qualification.

At the moment BWB is looking for creative and inspiring academic personnel and for a number of staffmembers, please click here for more information.

Location of the IISE

The IISE is located in the pristine purity of a little village by the side of the tranquil Vellayani lake In Trivandrum Kerala. The campus is built in an environmental friendly ethnic style based on the ideology of the renowned architect, the late Laurie Baker and implemented by Sajan of Costford.  BWB has incorporated rain water harvesting, grey water treatment, biogas, solar/wind energy and waste management systems along with ecosan toilets.

The idea is to make this project a model for all future institutions of its kind.    

Dormitory under construction June 2007

Dormitory building during construction May 2008

Concept of training:

A journey in five acts  (Overview eleven month’s training):

Act one: Welcome to the tropics 

- Orientation (on campus, in the Velayani area, in Kerala)
- Introduction - to the upcoming programme, the facilities and the local culture and language
- Breaking the ice - getting to know each other’s dreams, cultural differences etc

Act two: Finding my voice

- Communication - debate, interaction, conflict management etc.
- Speech - voice training, Public speech, stage training, etc.
- Media - campus radio, campus magazine, Talkshows, photo, video, radioplays

- Work on case studies and radio plays with the topic "cultural taboos"

Please find here a radioplay about the "Tansalesian Case Study". Tansalesia is an imaginative country where different groups of participants create their own social project. They face real life situations such as corruption, problems with neighbours, land/tax issues and everything that makes the lives of social entrepreneurs difficult but at the same time exciting. Enjoy the show!

Radio feature "Tansalesea"

And here the 2010 case study about "Malaika Islands"
Radio feature "Malaika Islands"

Act three: Getting real

- Movements - disability, aids, women, peace, environment etc.
- Work on real BWB-projects.

- Going public - organizing events, pr and fundraising, etc

Act four: The wild world

- Internships (two months in social or environmental projects)

- Evaluation -

Act five: The sky is the limit

- Creating and finalizing one’s own vision.
- Project planning - project concepts, proposals, presentations etc.
- Financing - budgeting, financial proposals and reports, raising funds etc


A ten page project proposal including a budget, planning etc about the participants personal dream project. Presentation of a 15 minutes multi media public speech. An international jury has judged the presentations and proposals and 4 different awards were handed out.

On the 13th of December the graduation ceremony took place. The Maharaja of Travancore and the Kerala Minister of Education were the special guests during the event. Please find here a clip of Mr. Eric Ofori from Ghana and Mr. Robert Sabwami who performed a beautiful song during the graduation ceremony.

IISE Classes:

Sighted, blind and partially sighted participants are trained together.
Catalysts, designers, one navigator and volunteers will cover the following main tasks:
Facilitating, motivating, propelling and initiating in the areas
1. Management, communication and public skills:
2. Computer technology hard/software: (based on Linux)
3. Social and environmental movement 
4. Sports 
5. Short term Workshops: Those workshops will mainly be held by guest speakers and guest catalysts.

 Applicants for the training need the following skills and qualities:
- Creativity, innovation and motivation.
- For those who are blind or visually impaired: Reading and writing enlarged print or English Braille (grade 1 and 2)
- Ability to Communicate in English. (All sessions and workshops will be conducted in English)


The 2009 IISE course was completed on the 13th of December 2009. The 20 graduates from the following countries China, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nepal, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Sierra Leone returned home and started to work on the following planned projects:

RESULTS:  20 Individuals, 10 destinations, 16 projects

1. Always Reading Caravan (ARC) - Thailand - Yoshimi Horiuchi
2. kiki's Kindergarten - Tibet/China - Kyila
3. Tibetan Unlimited Library and Production (TULIP)  - Tibet/China - Gyentsen
4. New Horizon - Preparatory school for the blind - Ghana - Eric Ofori
5. Training of Uniquely Caring Hands (TOUCH) - Saudi Arabia - Hossni Bugis
6. Educate a Blind Child Foundation  (EBC)- Liberia - James Patrick Johnson, Victor Ngaigai and Johnson Kortu
7. New Light Resource Center - Kenya - Jayne (A centre for awareness to stop killing of albinos)
8. Center for Adaptive Technology (CAT) - Kenya - Robert Sabwami
9. Mountain View Center - Kenya - Lucy Warimi
10. Reach Out - India - Jessica Schroeder
11. Mawbynna Early Intervention Center - India - Pynhoi Tang
12. Resource Centre for Adaptive Technology (RECAT) - Ghana - Julius Braimah
13. Skill Development Center for the Visually Impaired (SDCVI) - Nepal - Khom Raj Sharma
14. The Madagascar Education and Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (MERCI) - Madagascar - Holiainina, Karin Broeske and Martin Niry
15. Supporting Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (SEED) - Sierra Leone - Mohamed Salia
16. Child Rescue Mission (CRM) - Sierra Leone - Sahr Yilia

Here a worldmap that displays the countries where the above mentioned projects are going to be set up::

16 Planned projects in 10 countries of first year IISE graduates

For the 2010 IISE course 30 participants have been selected from 20 different countries.

For the 2011 course
BWB is looking for motivated, engaged and talented participants.
Participants for the year 2011 should apply for a full scholarship.
Deadline for sending in the application forms is 30th of May 2010
If you have a dream and you want to learn how to realize it, please fill out the following:

Contact details project Kerala:


Contact details project Kerala:

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