and Partners

Common Threads Project


Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, and now based in New York City, Common Threads Project (CTP) helps women heal from the ensuring psychological effects of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the context of war and displacement through their arts-based methodology. The program takes its inspiration from an ancient arts practice found in many diverse contexts of women coming together to sew their unspeakable stories into images in cloth. Through this process, participants find safety, mutual support, community, and a vital means of self-expression.


Purpose: To support the creation of Common Threads New York, the first U.S. program for the organization.

CTP has typically worked internationally, adapting and implementing their program in Nepal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. With the Illumination Fund’s support, CTP will create two groups of refugee women and survivors of SGBV in partnership with Sanctuary for Families and the Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture, using the intrinsically healing properties of creating story-cloths in a sewing circle with other survivors. Participants can also show work in exhibitions that raise awareness of SGBV.