CommonThreadz: Programs & Projects
CommonThreadz Programs & Projects

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School Uniforms for Orphans & Vulnerable Children
This was the first initiative that CommonThreadz created in 2008. For every t-shirt or bracelet that we sell from our Shop to Help Store, we give a school uniform to an orphan or vulnerable child (OVC) so they can go to, or stay in school. Some of the children we care for had been refused schooling for not being able to afford a uniform.

Uniforms are a requirement in most schools in Africa and we want to make sure that all these children have the chance to go to school, make friends and learn so that they can reach their full potential. Since the inception of this program, hundreds of uniforms have been handed over to OVC’s. Typically a uniform will last a year and so there is an ongoing need for uniforms. As the caregivers we work with continue to identify the OVC’s in need and as support for this program grows, we plan to hand over many more uniforms in the future.

Donate to the School Uniforms Program >>

School Uniform Seamstresses

Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Mentor Program

We currently operate a mentor program in Obanjeni, South Africa. This program teams responsible and employed adults from the local community with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s) as role models on a one-to-one basis. Each of our mentors supports many children, meeting with each child for at least one hour per week. The mentors spend time helping with homework, chatting about personal hygiene, advising on healthy lifestyles and most of all, listening to the child.

In some cases our mentors have come back to us to report abuse and a child has had to be moved to a place of safety and the police and social workers are called in. The mentors are our ears and eyes in the community. The program has rolled out with many young children and teenagers benefiting greatly. Still in its infancy, this program has been a great success and will be replicated and expanded moving forward.

Donate to Support a Mentor Today >>

CommonThreadz Orphan Mentors:


  • From left to right:
    Ibusiso Leo Mahlangu (Boy's Mentor), Nikenziwe Edmara Shozi (Girl's Mentor)

The Feeding Program

Common Threadz provides the funding and nutritional guidance for grassroots non-profit organizations in rural South Africa, such as Siyathuthuka Obanjeni, to provide daily meals to over 200 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s) that they have identified in the area.

Proper nutrition is a fundamental need for the children to grow and learn and although the government says that it’s a child’s right not to go hungry, this is far from the reality for many thousands of children in South Africa. This program has grown from its inception last year when caregivers began to cook three meals a week for children after school. Now an employed cook prepares a cooked meal every day for the children to eat after school and in April 2010 we started to provide high protein porridge for the children to eat on their way to school, as the teachers have indicated that it is very difficult for the children to concentrate when they are hungry.

Once again this program has much room to expand and reach many more needy OVC’s but it would not be possible without your support and for that we thank you.

Donate to Feeding Program Now >>

Shoes for Kids

This program complements the School Uniforms Programme by providing new school shoes to barefoot children in need, namely orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s). School uniforms might give these children entrance to school, however many of them walk for up to four hours a day to go to school barefoot.

A new pair of school shoes is usually the only new pair of shoes most of these children will ever receive and for most of them it will be the only pair of shoes they will own. All it takes is $10 to provide an OVC with a new pair of shoes so that they can go to school with confidence!

Buy a pair or create / join a team today to support this rewarding program.

For Shoes for Kids in Africa, please visit
For Shoes for Kids in Haiti, please visit

Chess for Children in Need

In 2009 we launched the Chess for Children in Need program and it has been amazing to witness how the kids who participate in the program have improved both in and out of the class room.

Donate to Feeding Program Now >>

Skills Training & Economic Development for Women

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Skills Training and Economic Development Program >>

Microcredit for Women

Details coming soon.

Donate to Microcredit Program Now >>

Soccer League & Life Skills Program for Primary School Girls

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Soccer Program for Girls Now >>

Peer Education Program

This is one of our newest and most exciting programs to date! Facilitators work in schools and the community, handling discussion and interventions on topical and relevant subjects previously not addressed.

These discussions/interventions have already become so popular in one of the schools of 600 children that the facilitator working there has been allocated slots on the school timetable and sees each class in the school once a week for a two and a half hour session.

Subjects discussed and topics role-played include what constitutes a healthy relationship, abuse, living with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse etc. Typically a session starts with icebreakers, includes some book work, group work and often ends with song.

The teachers in the school commented that the children have become much more understanding and protective of each other and wrongs are being brought to light rather than hidden as they were before. Generally there is a far more open and caring atmosphere in the school and the teachers are delighted.

Help us to expand this fantastic program to reach more kids.

Donate to the Peer Education Program >>

Youth Clubs Program

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Youth Clubs Program >>

Student to Student Sandwich Program

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Sandwich Program >>

Students Giving Schools Hope

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Students Giving Schools Hope Now >>

Volunteer Trips

CommonThreadz organizes international trips throughout the year for volunteers to deliver school uniforms, school supplies and food to children in need while also providing much needed assistance at schools and orphanages during the volunteer trip. You can fundraise the entire amount needed for the trip, including airfare.

Donate to the Volunteer Trips Program Now >>

Child Sponsorship

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Child Sponsorship Program >>


Land Development Project

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Land Development Project >>

Rebuilding Obanjeni Primary School Project

Details coming soon.

Donate to the Rebuilding Obanjeni Primary Project >>

CommonThreadz for Obanjeni Primary School - Committee Members:

  • From left to right: Principal Ngobese (Principal of Obanjeni Primary), Fikile Khumalo (Community Representative), Gloria Mncwango (School Head of Department), Thandi Nxumalo (Parent Representative), Karen Fish (CommonThreadz Field Operations Liason - resident of Mtunzini, S. Africa.)

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