Oasis is a global organisation, working in 51 hubs around the world. At Oasis Hub Waterloo we partner with two of the countries in which Oasis works - Belgium and South Africa. Here's some more information about the great work Oasis is doing in those countries:
Oasis Belgium has been active in fighting human trafficking and poverty for many years.
Since 2007, Oasis has worked hard to help trafficked and exploited Thai women hidden in brothels across the country. With a base in middle of Brussels’ red light district, there is also a focus on helping children who are at risk of being exploited because they live in squats and on the city streets. With an active role in STOP THE TRAFFIK, Oasis Belgium is committed to educating young people through a schools programme and to change policy at government level through proactive lobbying.
Oasis Belgium operates a dynamic range of projects, including:
Thai Welcome project – Providing legal advice, counselling and language support to Thai women in Belgium who have been trafficked and victim of other organised crimes (such as fake marriage visas). As part of this slow and patient process, Oasis Belgium operates a coffee bar in Antwerp where the Thai women can gain work experience and training, and then be helped into new work. The hub's work is centred on this coffee bar, and has seen women who had spent years in exploitation and drug abuse now happily returned to Thailand and running their own family homes.
Mail Order Bride project – In order to combat the mail order bride agencies, Oasis is lobbying the European institutions to pass laws that give women information about their rights and access to support groups. The project also seeks to provide marriage courses in English, Thai and Russian and online information for all women who are coming through these agencies as well as calling for greater registration and accountability of agencies that send people here so that they can be held to account.
Brussels Children project – Oasis had long been working in one of Europe’s largest squats, offering families support. But following a police raid, a change of approach was necessary and the search for new accommodation began in earnest. Now, Oasis Belgium works to support children in school, providing food and helping families stay safe and stable. Partnering with a local school, this project will form the basis of a new community hub where both children and families can be included and feel at home.
There is also an active team raising awareness in schools, lobbying the EU parliament on trafficking issues, and working with squatter communities in downtown Brussels.
Oasis South Africa
Oasis South Africa was launched in 2006. Now our team here is developing hubs in poor communities in Johannesburg, Grahamstown and Hartswater. These hubs seek to improve education outcomes for children, youth employability, and the health of people in these communities. Work is also done to facilitate community forums and train leaders to create partnerships that will create long-term, sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty. Commercial sex workers (many from Zimbabwe) are supported through the Greenlight project.
Oasis hubs in South Africa provide a wide range of services including:
Change Agents – Rallying together small groups of people and equipping them with the tools they need to transform the communities in which they live, Oasis challenges its Change Agents to be intentional about their own personal development and growth. Change Agents offers a training programme for young people and gives them opportunities to gain the skills required for entry-level employment, while serving their communities by running projects for children such as after-school homework clubs, sports activities as well as cultural workshops.
Bursaries - Every year, bursaries are awarded to the most promising students, enabling them to take that all important next step to study towards a formal teaching qualification, while mentoring the next year’s intake of young people and volunteering at local schools.
Alongside the aforementioned projects, Oasis Change Agents have set up a community clinic, a home-based care programme for the terminally ill, a social enterprise manufacturing healthy peanut butter, as well as providing high quality health care and a leadership programme designed to help equip and influence emerging and established community and church leaders.
For more information about the work Oasis is doing around the world, visit the Oasis Global website.