Irish Designer Clodagh Wins Humanitarian Award
By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
December / January 2017
American-based Irish designer Clodagh received the prestigious Manfred Steinfeld Humanitarian Award in November for her work with the Thorn Tree Project in Kenya. The award, given by Hospitality Design magazine, is given to the industry figure who has demonstrated extraordinary humanitarian spirit.
Clodagh, who was born in Cong, County Mayo, has been involved with the Thorn Tree project since it was founded in 2002. The Thorn Tree Project focuses on providing basic education to the nomadic Samburu tribe in northern Kenya, one of the country’s most isolated.
“I visit the children in Africa as much as I can, and watch them grow up from afar and become citizens of the world. I am determined to make their lives and the lives of others so much better,” Clodagh told Hospitality Design. Since 2002, the Thorn Tree Project has built 12 preschools, three elementary schools, as well as dormitories, and educated more than 1,500 children of the Samburu tribe, including putting some of the earliest students through college.
In addition to the Thorn Tree Project, Clodagh also works with the Azama Project, which provides schooling and healthcare for the isolated town of Azama, Ecuador, and Ape Action Africa, which supports one of the largest primate sanctuaries on the continent.
Among Clodagh’s professional projects include the Modern terrace at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the White Horse Spa in Doonbeg, County Clare, and the W Hotel and Residences in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. ♦