Past Projects

ODW “Charity of the Year” Annual PROJECTS

Students vote to choose the annual partner.

ODW USA was co-founded during the 1998-1999 school year, and is now in its 18th Year in the United States! Its success is a result of the collective support and dedication of the students, our administration, faculty, and community at large. ODWUSA is truly is an example of how a whole community working together can accomplish amazing things.


“And the winner is… GoodWeave! That is what we heard moments ago on the phone from our friends at Broad Meadows Middle School, the headquarters for Operation Day’s Work. They called to let us know that GoodWeave was the winner of a $10,000 grant to support our “child friendly village” project in India. Please join us in saying “thank you” to this wonderful bunch of change-makers and philanthropists!”

posted by GoodWeave on their Facebook December 2013


This year’s 2014 ODW student voted aid project is to create for 250 vulnerable children, mostly girls, in 3 villages in Uttar Pradesh, India: education, protection, rehabilitation and hope. ODW member students debated, then voted to partner with the amazing GoodWeave-INDIA organization to improve the lives and futures of these 250 kids.

Other Past Projects Include:

2013: ODWUSA raised $15,000 for the continued education at The Kenyan School House Project of 38 former child laborers, many of whom were rescued out of cocoa and coffee bean fields in Kenya., in partnership with co-founder Len Morris.


Hi,                                                                               April 2014

I hope this finds you well. I wanted the students of ODW to know the results, which we just received, from our graduating class in Kenya last year. We had 41 students supported last year. Of these, 19 graduated high school and they sat for the Kenyan Post-Secondary Exams. These are nationally administered exams, like the SAT's,  used to determine who qualifies for college. However, these tests are do or die.

Of our 19 KSH students, 11 qualified for college and of these 11- 7 qualified for scholarships from the Kenyan government.

I think this is a remarkable showing for these young people. They have each overcome great personal obstacles to succeed and that success is due, in no small measure, to the support ODW provided for them last year.

Without a doubt, ODW has helped change the lives of these young people and their families and communities. Time to take a moment and feel good about what you do.


Len Morris,  Co-founder of The Kenyan School House Project

a project of Media Voices for Children


library cleanup   MARCH 28, 2013 | LEN MORRIS

   The Kenyan SchoolHouse Project has been selected by Operation Day’s Work as their “Charity of the Year.”

A total of six schools operate ODW programs, four in Massachusetts and two in Vermont. ODW students, grades 6 through 12, will volunteer their time and service in support of our KSH program to educate former child laborers in Kenya. The 2013 grant is for $10,000 and it’s earned the hard way through community work: car washes, raffles, pot-lucks, gardening, household work and innumerable other ideas the students organize and execute.

This will be the first time in a decade that Kenyan Schoolhouse will benefit from dozens of student volunteers helping us raise the tuition costs, room, board, medical care, transport and personal costs for the 41 former child laborers we currently support in Kenyan secondary schools.

An equally important part of this partnership is to raise public awareness in ODW communities about child labor, child poverty and access to education for children who work on the coffee plantations of Kenya. It was this objective that sent me to Thetford Academy, Silver Lake Middle School and Quincy Senior High School to meet students, parents and faculty advisors from all 6 ODW schools last week.

At each school, I was greeted by an enthusiastic core of ODW members along with their faculty support team. At Thetford, the entire student body saw a specially prepared presentation on the theme of sharing “THE SAME HEART,” the title of Galen Films’ next documentary film about children and poverty. The program was repeated for all of the students at Silver Lake Regional Middle School and The Quincy Senior High School. Also on hand were enthusiastic ODW members representing the Newton School in Vermont, Archbishop Williams High and Broad Meadows Middle School.

As I explained to the students, having THE SAME HEART means sharing a common vision, purpose and path, joining a like-minded community. As I looked out at the over 800 people I spoke to last week, I genuinely felt that the ODW’s support and history shared THE SAME HEART with the many donors and supporters of The Kenyan Schoolhouse.

ODW strives to teach students that youth in less fortunate countries are no different than in the United States. These students need an education to change their situation and that of their country.
These goals align perfectly with the mission of the Kenyan SchoolHouse.

Since its founding in 1998, Operation Days Work has raised over $300,000 for charities as diverse as Partners in Health: Haiti, Goodweave-Nepal and The American Foundation for Children Affected by AIDS-Zimbabwe. This national, student-run organization works to teach youth to be a force for positive change in their local and global communities. ODW believes that all young people deserve a chance to have a good and healthy life no matter where they live.


More “Past Projects” summaries:

2012: ODWUSA raised $15,000 for life saving nutritional porridge, seeds for vegetable gardens, livestock and training for dozens of AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe who live alone and whose parents died of AIDS, in partnership with founder Tanya Weaver of  AFCA (The American Foundation for Children Affected by AIDS) Please read the AFCA post:

dry desert

Yeah, it’s dry!
Friday, October 5, 2012
Rain and Sunshine

October 5, 2012 – from the desk of Tanya Weaver, the Executive Director of the American Foundation for Children Affected by AIDS –
( note: AFCAA was the 2011-2012 ODW partner. The ODWUSA schools teamed with AFCAA to provide life saving porridge, livestock, seeds and healthcare to over 200 children, all of them orphaned by AIDS and living in child-headed homes.)

I sit at my desk, trying to concentrate, although I’d rather be sleeping.  It is wet, rainy and grey outside and that, to me, is the best napping weather.  But, I struggle to stay focused and on task with a cup of mint tea by my side.   I find my mind wandering to our friends in countries where the lack of rain is a huge problem, killing livestock and gardens.  I pray for them, that they will see rain soon and that the rain will help blanket their land with green and with vegetables and fruit.

I hear the ping of another email hitting my in-box.  I quit looking out the window and read with excitement an email regarding the vaccination of twenty-five kids born to the goats we gave out in Zimbabwe this summer.  It is always exciting to hear of female kids being born because one knows that the program will survive, that the flocks will continue to grow.  Keeping them healthy is of utmost importance and the team on the ground is working towards that with the beneficiary families.

On days like these, I take all the good news I can.  My email account is acting up and I am not able to send out emails to specific people (I receive alright…just can’t send), which is just wretched.  I have no idea who is receiving my emails and who isn’t.  How am I supposed to work this way?  So, I spend 3 hours between our domain provider and google apps, trying to figure out things that really mean nothing to me.  I find most languages fascinating, but not the language of computers.  I don’t know what they are asking me and I don’t know how to answer.  This is when a good IT person with lots of time on their hands would be so very useful.  Since one of those doesn’t exist in my current world, I will have to do the work.  I’d really rather poke my eye out, but I’ll stay on hold some more, waiting for someone on the other side to give me some answers.
vet kit

Q giving an ODW vet kit to a village coordinator


Another ping!  This one is from Ron, the teacher/advisor for Operation Days Work.  This is a fantastic student-run program which gets students from various schools directly involved in local projects as well as international ones.  We received a $10,000 grant during the summer, which allowed us to purchase and distribute chickens and goats and veterinary kits for orphan families in Zimbabwe.  This new email is to let me know that the students just voted that AFCA will receive the additional $5000 they raised this year!  Oh, what good news these are!  What will we do with these funds, you ask?

We will purchase and distribute a soya/maize blend porridge for 70 families as well as seeds and gardening training for the same families. Transportation and delivery of the food and seeds is included in this grant.  How incredibly exciting this is, especially in light of the lack of rain which has affected many families.  The porridge will provide a stop-gap as gardens grow.  The gardens are planted using something called conservation farming, which traps any moisture, even if only dew, under a thick blanket of mulch.  This allows for vegetables to grow even through times of little rain.

I sip my tea.

sonMy son with beneficiaries in Zimbabwe

I think of the children who’ll receive the porridge and the gardening training and seeds.  I find myself smiling.  I laugh out loud here in my home office, thrilled for them.

Suddenly, even though the rain continues to drum, things look mighty bright indeed.

2011: ODWUSA raised > $ 9,900 for the education of children, mostly girls, who were at risk of becoming child laborers or have actually been rescued from child labor in Nepal, in partnership with GoodWeave-Nepal and co-founder Nina Smith.

2010: ODWUSA raised > $20, 000 for Selamta in Addis Ababa, Ethopia, to give dozens of AIDS orphans what every child should have: a childhood, a FAMILY, food, health care and hope…in partnership with founder Carol Stone.

2009: ODW USA raised > $23,000 for Haiti, to provide education, nutritious food and health care for hundreds of vulnerable children in partnership with Dr. Paul Farmer’s “Partners in Health-Haiti.”

2008: ODW USA raised > $26,000 for the completion of a new Health clinic in Burundi, Africa, open to all regardless of which side of the genocide their families were on. The ODW members voted to partner with Village Health Works’ founder “Deo.”

2007: ODW USA raised > $26,000 for Selamta in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to provide what every child needs: a family, food, a home and hope, in partnership with Selamta’s founder Carol Foster Stone.

Ten Years Ago: The Pulitzer Center wrote about ODW-USA in a series of articles titled ‘Operation Day’s Work:
Solidarity, not Charity, Across Cultures.’
ODW-USA has been globally active every school year since its founding in the 1998-1999 school year.
Click here to discover or re-discover what ODW was doing ten years ago:

2006: ODW USA raised > $26,000 for an internship program for high school age students in Rwanda, Africa, in partnership with CHABHA’s Project Independence (Children Affected by HIV/AIDS).

2005: ODW USA raised > $40,000 for Heifer International in Phu An, Vietnam, to house, protect, educate 40 young girls to keep them out of the child slave market which thrives in that part of Vietnam.

2004: ODW USA raised $10,600 for 5 projects:

  • $2,000 for tuitions for Rwandan orphans
  • $3,000 medical supplies for Kenyan Health Clinic
  • $600 for scholarships for Israeli youth
  • $2000 scholarships for Vietnamese girls

2003: ODW USA raised > $20,000 for school improvements in Bangladesh so more children can attend school, especially the girl child (in partnership with the Volunteers Association of Bangladesh)

2002: ODW USA raised > $30,000 to re-open a boarded up middle school and to renovate 3 previously shuttered elementary schools in Ethiopia, in partnership with A Glimmer of Hope.

2001: ODW USA raised > $40,000 for scholarships for 251 poor children in Nepal, mostly girls, most of whom never attended school ever.

2000: ODW USA raised > $40,000 to double the enrollment of Ciudad De Los Ninos orphanage in San Salvador. Many orphans there lost family members in the civil war or continued fighting in El Salvador. Partner organization: Salesian Missions

1999: ODW USA raised > $30,000 for the Goat Project in Haiti which provided livestock and literacy to over 3,000 impoverished children in rural Haiti. Partner organization: The Livestock Training for Young People of Haiti Project.