Vanessa is a very good example of what we are aiming to achieve here at the Oasis of Hope School.
She was sponsored from the get-go and was an excellent student albeit, very quiet and reserved.
She comes from a family with precious little in the way of materialistic things. Lived in a rented 2 roomed house – in a poor neighborhood.
She graduated from the Oasis Academy and is now studying to be a dental surgeon at University – her dream is now becoming a reality – thank you Jesus!
Jose graduated from the Oasis of Hope School with one of the highest academic scores in the whole of Colombia. He won a free scholarship to a top university in Medellin and is now studying Environmental Engineering - c'mon!!!
Jose comes from a relatively poor family; 2 roomed rented house in a dangerous, undeveloped neighborhood. The house had little in the way of sanitation or amenities. Jose parents came to us several years back and asked for help to keep him in the school. They couldn’t afford the bus costs etc. as both parents were unemployed.
Jose had really passed the age where we could ideally seek a sponsor. However, we saw the great potential in Jose, so we decided to sponsor him ourselves. He was a class A student, at the same time learning and having a great command of English.
Jose really represented all we attempt to do here in this ministry and was the culmination of my dream – that is take a disadvantaged kid - give him/her a good education – provide regular meals and basis healthcare - teach the importance faith – graduate from our Academy and go on to University!
God has a unique plan for the Joses of this country and we have great hope that he and others like him will go on to make a significant difference here in Colombia!
Diana was born into a broken home – dad abandoned the family. The house just had a dirt floor and little in the way of sanitation. Diana came to Oasis of Hope School as an emotionally damaged child.
Her and her mother became part of the Oasis of Hope Church and Diana excelled in the dance group and her mother became an usher. At school Diana was initially quite difficult and her behaviour concerning. However, little by little the Oasis school staff made inroads into the damaged inner-being of Diana and great progress was made.
In this life, it’s not so important how you start out – but with God’s help we have great HOPE that Diana and her family are going to finish strong.
She graduated from the Oasis of Hope School and today she’s at University studying to be a lawyer majoring on law in the social context with a great interest in righting society’s injustices.
Dear Supporters, is it is with great sadness that I bring you news of a terrible tragedy that happened here in Colombia in early January (2018). Two students of the Oasis of Hope School, Zharick (13 years old) and Valerin (11 years old) were killed in a horrific car crash along with their parents.
Zharick, her Mum and Dad were killed on impact. Valerin survived but was seriously injured. She was placed on a life support machine in hospital battling for her life. I had the opportunity to visit and pray with her during the 3 days that she survived after the crash. However, on the 10th of January, which was her 11th birthday, Valerin died. I was so grateful to God that I was able to see Valerin before she went to be with Jesus, who she loved and lived for.
Valerin and Zharick, you will always be part of the Oasis family. Today there are many tears but later when the students return to school, we will celebrate your lives with dancing, singing and an abundance of joy – we know that's what you would want!
What does an education mean to you? To most, an education is what gives us the foundation to pursue our goals and careers. To some, it is much more than that.
Let me tell you what it means to Mara.
Mara is a student at Oasis of Hope Academy. She began in pre-school and is currently enrolled in the fifth grade. Awhile back, Mara's father began mixing with the wrong crowd. Earlier this year he was shot five times and killed.
Oasis of Hope has become Mara's beacon of light during a dark time. Her family wanted to take her out of school, but she refused. Mara was able to remain enrolled due to sponsorship. Since the tragedy, Mara has immersed herself in school activities and sees a school psychologist, a service that would otherwise be unavailable to her.
What does an education mean to Mara? It means a safe place. It means a support system.
If Mara wasn't sponsored by donors like you, she would be forced to leave school. The cycle of poverty is vicious. Help break it. Recently, Mara’s family bought her a sewing machine and she now spends all her spare time making clothes for her family – she learned this skill at Oasis of Hope School!
Mara sewing (wearing the cap) at Oasis of Hope School
Gustavo, was a typical kid from the rough, and I mean rough neighborhood, called Vista Hermosa in Santa Marta, Colombia where our ministry is based.
Gustavo and his younger sister Daniela attended our Oasis of Hope School – the family was extremely poor and both had sponsors in the UK.
We had several alterations with the mother, who in all probability had mental health issues. The father, a violent alcoholic provided absolutely nothing for the family, albeit, he did work on the nearby beach selling trinkets.
Gustavo was the cheekiest of kids, in the nicest way possible – he was always up to something in the school. But despite the lack of empathy at home regarding homework etc. he managed to graduate each year. Then one day his mother came to the school saying she was pulling both Gustavo and Daniela out of the school – it would seem she simply got out of bed on the wrong side that morning – because there was absolutely no reason for the kids to leave.
But leave they did – Gustavo ended up selling mango fruit outside our school gate during the morning and on the afternoon he was sent to the beach to sell his father’s trinkets.
Every evening around 6:30pm it gets dark here in Santa Marta, all year round. One evening, Gustavo was still on the beach until around 8:30pm and when attempting to cross the busy road to the Vista Hermosa neighborhood – he was killed on impact by an hit and run driver – Gustavo died just 10 years of age!!
To say I was devastated would be an understatement: Gustavo with a free education, regular meals and basic healthcare was taken from a safe and secure environment (Oasis of Hope School) to become an illegal child-worker – his life ended prematurely because he was in the wrong place – at the wrong time – doing the wrong thing!
Gustavo’s dream was to become a pilot!
Your generous gift will help us fund our mission to help the poorest children in Colombia.
Together, we can make a difference.