At Oasis Skills Development Centre we focus on basic academic education, therapeutic activities and skills transfer through income-generating projects. We provide assistance, support, training and guidance to children and adults with multiple (learning and physical) disabilities.

Some learners (especially those above 18 years of age) receive skills training in daily household tasks and income generating projects with the hope that they can become more independent and enable them to generate an income for themselves. Skills training to staff, parents, and unemployed persons in the community is also one of our priorities.

A number of income-generating projects were started at the centre. Although most of these projects are not yet financially viable, they provide an opportunity for job creation. Practical skills are imparted to learners who are above 18 years of age and show an inclination to more practical rather than theoretical education.

Basic academic education

Since most of the learners at Oasis Skills Development Centre come from previously disadvantaged communities or very deprived households, basic life skills training form the basis of all training. Imparting fine and gross motor skills, basic literacy and numeracy skills, basic computer literacy, arts, crafts and physical training ensures a full schedule for the academic activities at the centre.

Although we are not yet recognized by the Department of Education as a special school, learners do get progress reports every six months of their academic achievements. Learners are grouped according to their abilities rather than age and and groups are kept fairly small. For example, a junior group of 12 learners have an educator as well as an aid in class to ensure maximum personal attention and care. This is especially of importance since most learners are referred to the centre due to learning difficulties in main stream schools.

Even though we do not follow the national syllabus and cannot evaluate a learner according to the accepted grading educational system we can from time to time refer some learners back to the main stream schools with success. Since 2010 we are also registered as an Eco-school.

Therapeutic activities and events

The learners at Oasis Skills Development Centre love singing, dancing, acting, excursions and many more activities. Since they are the most precious assets of the Centre, it is not surprising that some of the fund-raising initiatives revolve around these special persons and have educational themes.

Sports days, Easter and Christmas plays are well supported by parents, family members and friends. Other forms of fund-raising include fashion shows, dances, market days, talent shows and initiatives like fun walks or cleaning campaigns initiated by other organisations or government Departments. Although the income from these educational initiatives is relatively small, the pleasure of learners, personnel and volunteer involvement make it worthwhile.

Skills transfer through income-generating projects

Income-generating projects has different objectives and targets. These projects, which includes the bakery, needlework, hydroponics, paving, bead work and other hand crafts, provide us with an ideal opportunity to transfer practical skills to learners, educators, unemployed persons and the larger community.

More than 22 learners have gained experience in these projects. Some do very good work in the organic food garden that produces much needed vegetables for meals at the centre. A few learners got the opportunity to do general cleaning work at Oasis premises as well as washing clothes and helping in the kitchen. Others were trained in paving, baking, bead-work, hand crafts, hand sewing and hydroponics.

Due to physical or other constraints some of the learners can act as class aids for the playgroup, junior groups and in the computer class.

For the skills transfer of the current projects and other hand craft ideas, we especially appreciate the involvement of older persons.