Our organization is based on a commitment to being goal-oriented, accountable, and highly effective. We establish clear objectives, put measurements in place to monitor them, and take corrective action immediately to ensure we always remain on track.
We are a 100% volunteer-run organization that has come together to help the Samburu realize their dream of educating their children. We have no administrative overhead, so donations directly reach the children of Samburu. The Thorn Tree Project is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization called The Sereolipi Nomadic Education Foundation Inc.
In 1999 Jane Newman was traveling from Nairobi, Kenya to Addis Abba, Ethiopia. Near the village of Sereolipi, the Landrover Jane was in broke down. The Samburu people generously took her in, hosting her with a great deal of kindness over the next few days.
Jane discovered that the Samburu had a very simple dream: they wanted more of their children to go to school.but their poverty made this unattainable. The Samburu knew education would be their key to survival in the twenty-first century, and a chance to attend school would create lasting change in the lives of their children.
The following year, Jane retired from advertising and in 2001 returned to Sereolipi to stay for a month. If money was the only obstacle to a basic education, Jane knew she had power to find like-minded supporters to raise funds in the U.S. and Europe to help the Samburu. In 2002, Jane helped establish the Sereolipi Nomadic Education Trust.
We send money to Kenya on a project-by-project basis and visit the schools at least twice a year to evaluate activities.The program directors, parents, teachers, and students in Samburu are totally committed to improving their education and our directors and teachers work long hours and weekends to make sure the students have the best possible education.
Chief George Lemerketo - President
Micah Rayrus - 60x5 Program Director
Leah Muia - Mentor
Morris Mwema - Scholarship Director, Mentor
Gadaffi Lenkiremishoi - Logistics Manager
Lekopir Ltililwa - Accountant
Maria Piperides - Finances
Catherine VandeWalle - Operations Director
Jun 04, 2015 Emily Cantrell
THE THORN TREE PROJECT ANNUAL NEWYORK CITY “AFRICAN BAZAAR” HELD JUNE 2, 2015
INCLUDED AN AFRICAN -INSPIRED FASHION SHOW FOR THE FIRST TIME
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)
Donna Karen with Samburu warriors and founding members Jane Newman and Clodagh at Urban Zen