Clodagh to be Honored - via Women's Wear Daily, Aug 30th, 2016




Thorn Tree Project Founder Jane Newman Receives Classic Woman Award, Nov. 2nd 2015

Jun 04, 2015  Emily Cantrell


This week founder Jane Newman was honored by Traditional Home Magazine, receiving the Classic Woman Award 2015 for helping those in need, at a dinner at the New York City Highline Hotel. This video beautifully summarizes Jane's history with the Thorn Tree Project and the important work the volunteers have done for Samburu education in Northern Kenya. 

Pictured here: Linda Pagan (left) and Jane Newman at the Award Presentation

In October Adam Philips of Voice of America interviewed Jane and Clodagh for a segment on The Thorn Tree Project.

We were very flattered that Voice of America wanted to cover us and Philip did an amazing job of explaining what we do.  You can hear his interview here.


On JUNE 2nd we had our 12th fundraising event in NYC. It was covered by Black Tie




NEW YORK, NY, June, 2015 The Thorn Tree Project that funds schools and education for the children of the nomadic tribes of the Samburu people of Northern Kenya, hosted its 13th Annual African Bazaar on Tuesday evening, June 2, at the Center for Social Innovation, the Starrett Lehigh Building,  601 West 26th Street, Suite 325 at 11th Avenue in New York City, from 6 pm to 9:30 pm to an SRO crowd.  The fund raising event made for a very lively evening,  with cocktail/grazing tablesand various handcrafted products from Kenya and East Africa, including hand woven baskets, bracelets and necklaces, carved wooden bowls, table linens, sculptures, textiles and other unusual items.

For the first time, an African-inspired fashion show was part of the evening’s festivities. The dazzling fashion show was styled with items for sale at the boutique: dresses, kikoys and kangas, which are African sarongs, and traditional and modern Kenyan jewelry. The models will carry sophisticated clutches as well as beach kits, which are baskets with picnic blankets, sarongs and sandals. The effect is a sophisticated global look that is appropriate world-wide, and all the items are created by Samburu or the artisans at village markets in Africa.

The event was hosted  by Jane Newman, founder of The Thorn Tree Project and a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, and Irish-born internationally known New York  designer Clodagh, who is on the top 100 interior designers’ list.  Jane Newman and Clodagh together have been devoting much of their lives and their energy to
 Thorn Tree. Jane Newman lives in Kenya for much of the year and administers the educational project.

To date, The Thorn Tree Project has educated over 1,500 young girls and boys in Kenya (including the funding of twelve pre-schools and three elementary schools) and now for the first time, will be putting some of these worthy students through college. The Thorn Tree Project has no overhead and is completely run by volunteers.

The fantastic array of food at the event was provided by David Shamah, Maja Serdarevic, David Ashen, “The Chilean Mafia,” Copenhagen Restaurant, Marco Stuckey of  Bees Knees Baking Company and Le Pain Quotidien.
For photos see here

(David Ashen, Daniel Aubry  Emily Cantrell, Clodagh, Linda Pagan, Jane Newman Maja Serdarevic  Brigitte Schaller  Clodagh with Bob Puddicombe  Lori Lum, Sophie Aziakou  Ellen Sweeney, Bob Elson)


In 2010 we managed to get visas for some of the warriors to come to New York for our fundraiser at urban Zen. It was a huge success.

Donna Karen with Samburu warriors and founding members Jane Newman and Clodagh at Urban Zen