The Oasis Story
Oasis began its actions in the territory of San Isidro (Bogotá-Colombia) in 2011, at the initiative of Fondacio Colombia and the Colegio Emilio Valenzuela Foundation, under the direction of Sandra Ardila and Gustavo López, co-founders and directors of the institution, who started this work by offering an opportunity to young people at social risk.
In its early days, Oasis offered teenagers and young people an alternative occupation during their free time with days of sports and artistic activities. Today, Oasis has extended its actions and serves other populations of the territory such as adults, the elderly and families, the allied institutions of the sector and the district school of the region, supporting educational issues and environmental.
Oasis has a dual vocation: both for its own team and for the neighborhood community with the ultimate goal of sustainable development.
By promoting the discovery of oneself and those around him, Oasis is a place of personal and professional development.
In each of its projects for the community, Oasis also tries to allow the autonomous development of the beneficiaries.
Our objective is to support beneficiaries, volunteers and allies in a dynamic that allows them to move from assistance to solidarity, then to sustainable development.
In this way, Oasis articulates its social action according to Fondacio’s pedagogy: “to be oneself”, “to be with others”, “to be for others” in a relationship of friendship in the image of Jesus Christ.
The model of solidarity inspired by Fondacio consists of the synergy of individual, community and technological dimensions in a dynamic of friendship.
For this, Oasis builds partnerships with institutions that provide technical expertise, human support and/or funding. The complementarity between Oasis and the partners involved is exercised throughout the project:
• Upstream: this allows the population access to the service offered
• During: it promotes the successful completion of the action
• After: it guarantees the sustainability of the benefit provided
Adrien, 30 years old, VSI, 2 years at Oasis
“It has been almost a year since I left for Colombia with my 3 children and my wife Camille, who works as a volunteer in a center for disabled children south of Bogota.
At Oasis, I am responsible for finance as well as coordinator of the Environment division. I am delighted with my mission: here I live an experience of friendship and multicultural reciprocity. What I love about Oasis is being part of a project with such a strong local component. To find myself working in a neighborhood where I would never have set foot if I hadn’t been sent there, I think it’s a pretty incredible little detour from life.
When leaving on a mission, we often say to ourselves that we are going on a voluntary basis to change the world, with many ideals; but when we come back we realize that in reality it is our world that has changed. And I believe that during this mission I fully feel this sentence because an experience at Oasis is a complete break with our life before: it is a geographical break, a break from estrangement with loved ones, as well as in the way of life or way of working, but also an upheaval in the place of his personal, emotional involvement, in short, it’s a huge change compared to what I was doing before. I now have a totally different vision of the world, compared to the vision I had before. Before I experienced certain things as being impossible to change. Here I tell myself that ultimately nothing is impossible to change. “
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