COVID-19 Oasis Policy Update

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92 Bowery St., NY 10013


+1 800 123 456 789

Category: OASIS


Oasis Food Parcel Appeal 2022

Dear Oasis family,

Your generosity for our food parcel campaign at the end of 2021 helped to care for, nourish, and encourage 400 of our beneficiaries’ households.

Many of us are still bouncing back economically from 2020 and 2021. Oasis has been incredibly fortunate to be supported by generous friends and supporters – thank you so much.

This year marks our 14th year of food parcels.
We are aiming to give 400 beneficiaries with intellectual disabilities, the gift of food, nourishment, and care.

One parcel now costs approximately R670, almost 12% up on last year’s prices.

We aim, with your help, to fill as many parcels as possible between now and Christmas closure.

You don’t need to contribute an entire parcel, any amount or item is greatly appreciated.

Each parcel will hold nourishing, low-cost food, health, and hygiene items, as well as a few treats.

Every rand, every tin of baked beans, every packet of rice donated helps us put together a food parcel.

We hope that you will assist us in gifting our beneficiaries and their families, by supporting our appeal and sharing this message with your family, friends, colleagues, and neighborhood groups.

Thank you to all who can assist.

Kind regards

Gail Bester

Executive Director   |   021 671 2698    |   www.oasis.org.za


Drop Off
For all food item donations, we have set up a collection point at the Recycling drop-off at Oasis Claremont (Cnr Lee and Imam Haron Roads) 

Cash Donations
Cash donations can be dropped off directly at our Claremont Oasis Book + Bric-a-Brac shops, where the cashiers will ring up your donation under ‘food parcels’.

Direct Deposit/EFT
Account name: Oasis Association
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Claremont
Acc no: 593 7179 7078
Branch code: 200 109

Please stipulate FOOD PARCEL on any donation. 
If you require a Section 18A tax receipt for a rebate, please include your NAME and CONTACT DETAILS. 

Email us
Please email your deposit slip or proof of EFT to donor@oasis.org.za




#RecyclingHeroes of Global Recycling Day 2022


Global Recycling Foundation        www.globalrecyclingfoundation.org


Global Recycling Foundation announces #RecyclingHeroes of Global Recycling Day 2022     

London, March 18, 2022


Immediate release – The Global Recycling Foundation today announces the 10 winners of their Recycling Heroes 2022 award marking Global Recycling Day 18th. March.

The winners of $ 1000 each are drawn from individuals and business leaders, sole traders, and multinationals who despite continuing hardships have managed to sustain their efforts to promote the value of recycling.

Ranjit Baxi, Founding President of the Global Recycling Foundation, said: “The world has been enduring exceptionally difficult times and we are delighted to have received so many remarkable entries from around the world.

“Indeed, to recognise the efforts made by a large number of start-ups despite two years of the Coronavirus pandemic, GRF has decided to make 4 additional awards of $250 each.”


The winners:

Schuler Rohstoff GmbH, Germany – Each year recycle about 280,000 tons of scrap –and are particularly proud that they can inspire so many women for our love of scrap. Half of the administrative staff are women empowering women and promoting their interest in the Recycling industry.

Una Mano per la Scuola, Italy – This committee made by parents of students from 6th to 14th years old (students of primary and secondary schools in Inveruno, Milan province, in Italy) is raising awareness on recycling & sustainability matters by organizing, with the support of the Municipality of Inveruno, for students to collect waste in the “Trash Challenge” for recycling as well as promoting planting of Trees by the students.

Vintz Plastic, Kenya – We are the leading plastic recycling company in Kenya recycling at least 25 tonnes of plastic waste per day. Our business model is unique because we promote circular manufacturing economy by making storage tanks and household items using the recycled plastics as the raw material. We place a strong emphasis of working with and training women in the process of collecting and sorting plastic.

Baby On The Move, New Zealand – An innovative effort to divert expired child restraints from going to landfill. Instead, together have created a stewardship solution of recycling car seat thereby reducing the waste which would otherwise be landfilled.

Ecocykle Limited, Nigeria – a youth-led social enterprise that promotes environmental sustainability, ecosystem restoration, the circular economy, and improved public health by providing effective waste management services to low-income communities who lack sustainable waste management options. Over the last two years, the company has overseen the training of more than 2000 young men and women on how to start their own waste recycling enterprises.


Oasis Association, South Africa – since 1952, the organisation has grown to support over 566 intellectually disabled beneficiaries. The organisations activities are all supported through the Recycling and thrift initiatives that fund 56% of Oasis annual income providing sustainable employment in recycling.


Brewster Bros, Scotland, UK – a family business centred on the principles of the circular economy turning CDE (concrete, demolition and excavating waste) into quality recycled products which can be sold back into the construction industries, diverting tons of waste from landfill and to create recycled product.

RecycleForce, Indiana, USA – is committed to reducing crime through employment and job training, while improving the environment through (WEE) waste electronics recycling. Since 2006, RecycleForce has safely recycled more than 65 million pounds of electronic waste while providing environmental job training to thousands.

Green Club of Lubanga Primary School, Zambia – Schoolchildren in the Green Club are promoting recycling by collecting waste drink bottles to make litter bins for keeping the school clean. One of the biggest environmental issues in schools is litter. The Green Club members collect used drink bottles littered around the school and community and use them for their Green and Clean school project.

Norwegian Refugee Council, Norway – Working in Bangladesh, to address the existing problem of plastic pollution in refugee camps, thus paving a way for more efficient solid waste management. NRC initiated Producing Shelter Materials from Recycled Plastic project in partnership with Field Ready to recycle the waste plastics produced by the Rohingya refugee community and surrounding host community people, to transform them into safe and sustainable shelter protection products


The four additional start-up award winners are:

Japheth Sunday, Nigeria – Japheth is reducing environmental pollution in the community with his JETSAR project by converting biowaste to electrical energy that powers the house including appliances, thus providing one answer to meet renewable energy needs in the country.

Precious Plastic, India – Precious Plastic is running a ragpicker co-operative. In this they buy plastic waste from ragpickers. This waste is recycled into plastic granules and sold to plastic product manufacturers. Profits from the sale of granules are distributed equally among the ragpickers helping the local economy.

Circular Shield, Slovenia – supporting sorted collection and recycling of used beverage cardboards, and creating a local, functioning model of circular economy as we return paper products made of regenerated cellulose.

Çelebi KALKAN, Turkey -. Celebi, a primary school teacher has been working on STEM education for sustainable development purposes since 2015. She believes in promoting educational awareness and sustainable development goals to support present and future generations who must be equipped not only with technical knowledge and skills, but also with a deeper understanding of the values needed to create a peaceful and sustainable future.



For further information contact Global Recycling Foundation team:


Ranjit Baxi +447860525159 www.globalrecyclingday.com


About the Global Recycling Foundation

The Global Recycling Foundation supports the promotion of recycling, and the recycling industry, across the world to showcase its vital role in preserving the future of the planet. It will promote Global Recycling Day as well as other educational programmes, awareness projects and innovation initiatives which focus on the sustainable and inclusive development of recycling.


Our Wishlist

Our shops are the heartbeat of our income and without stock we simply cannot support our beneficiaries.

We gratefully accept donated goods to be sold in our Oasis shops or online, especially:

  • household goods
  • clothes, hats and caps, shoes and handbags
  • books
  • bric-a-brac
  • backpacks, tog bags and suitcases
  • dishes and glassware
  • collectibles
  • jewellery
  • furniture
  • working electronics and electrical appliances
  • toys and games
  • cds, dvds and LPs
  • camping, sports, gardening and outdoor equipment
  • art

Ways to support Oasis

Members of the public who support our recycling projects, bakeries and shops are the lifeblood of our sustainability. Monetary donations come from individuals, small and large businesses, funders, trust funds and foundations, while many in the corporate world assist us with donated or discounted services and products.

We are deeply grateful to you all.

1. Make a monetary donation to Oasis

All of our services and programmes are funded by donations from generous individuals, companies and trusts as well as by proceeds from our shops, bakery, recycling, and contract work projects.

There are numerous ways to donate to help support Oasis and our beneficiaries:
• Once-off Donation:

Simply click the DONATE button on any page of the website. You will be directed to the Payfast website to make a once-off donation. Please remember to provide your contact details.

• Once-off Donation via SnapScan

Please remember to provide your contact details.

Donate via EFT:

Make a direct deposit into our bank account:

Oasis Association
FNB Vineyard Road, Claremont
Branch no 204209
Current account number 59371797078
Swift code FIRNZAJJ

Please email us confirmation of your deposit and contact details to the emails below so that we can thank you and send your receipt!
info@oasis.org.za and accounts2@oasis.org.za

Monthly Contribution

Setting up a monthly debit order or recurring credit card payment will assist us tremendously in planning and budgeting for the sustained care of our beneficiaries with intellectual disabilities.

2.  Gift a donation 

Want to make a donation on behalf of a friend or family member for a special occasion? Contact us to find out more.

info@oasis.org.za and accounts2@oasis.org.za

3. MySchool/MyVillage card

Select Oasis as your beneficiary and we will benefit each time you swipe your card at any Pick n Pay or Woolworths till – it’s that simple! Every little bit helps!

4. Donate used goods or books

Our charity shops and bookshops are a vital source of funding. We sell anything from furniture, art household goods, quality used clothing, bric-a-brac, toys, and books. We welcome donations of any of these items that are in a sellable condition.  

Please drop off at Oasis recycling (corner Imam Haron and Lee Road Claremont). 
Opening hours: Mondays – Fridays 8:30 to 3:30 and Saturdays 9:00 to 1:00.

5. Collect the small change

A collection tin at your place of work or club premises can add up to make a big difference to those in need. Please drop off your collection at Oasis Association on the corner of Imam Haron and Lee Road Claremont.

6. Make a bequest

Consider leaving a gift to Oasis in your will. Contact us for more information.


7. Support our campaigns

Food Parcel Appeal:

Each year from October to December we run our Food parcel appeal where we aim to gift our beneficiaries with the gift of food, nourishment, and care. One parcel costs approximately R600, and the aim, with your help, is to fill as many parcels as possible between now and Christmas closure. You don’t need to contribute an entire parcel, any amount or item is greatly appreciated.

Our Banking Details

Oasis Association,
First National Bank
Account number 59371797078
Claremont Branch Code 204209
Swiftcode FIRNZAJJ
VAT: 4230102206

Contribute via SnapScan

Name of company: Oasis Association  Postal address: Private Bag X23, Claremont 7735  Physical Address: 33 Lee Road, Claremont  Telephone: 021 671 2698  Contact: Gail Bester, Executive Director

NPO  002 937    |     PBO   930006609

Other Centres and services at Lee Road, Claremont, Pokkiedoring Road, Delft, 16th Street, Elsies River, Chukker Road, Kenwyn, Christians Street, Ravensmead, Sakabula Road, Ruyterwacht

Did you know? Donations to Oasis are deductible tax expenses in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act.
INCOME TAX: Oasis Association is exempt from income tax in terms of Section 10(1) (f) of the Income Tax Act.
DONATIONS TAX: Oasis is exempt from tax in terms of Section 56(1) (i & j) of Act 58 of 1962.

8. Drop off stock for our shops

Our shops are the heartbeat of our income and without stock we simply cannot support our beneficiaries.

We gratefully accept donated goods to be sold in our Oasis shops or online, especially:

  • household goods
  • clothes, hats and caps, shoes and handbags
  • books
  • bric-a-brac
  • backpacks, tog bags and suitcases
  • dishes and glassware
  • collectibles
  • jewellery
  • furniture
  • working electronics and electrical appliances
  • toys and games
  • cds, dvds and LPs
  • camping, sports, gardening and outdoor equipment
  • art

9. Moving house?

Scaling down? Emigrating? Moving on?

Our collection service will gladly collect any larger item of furniture in good repair, free of charge, including awkward pieces of furniture or garden items. For smaller items, please drop off your pre-loved, unwanted goods at Oasis in Claremont, on the corner of Lee and Imam Haron road.

Decluttering is the new shopping!

Donating items that you no longer want, or need is a win-win for all!  For you, it means being able to declutter and get more organised, especially before a potential house move.  It is also intrinsically rewarding.  For us, it assists in sustaining our meaningful initiatives and allows us to grow to further support people with intellectual disabilities.

Contact us Email Beraldine at recycling@oasis.org.za

Find OUR DROP OFF at Corner of Lee and Imam Haron Road, Claremont.
Trading hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 3:30pm; Saturdays 9:00am – 1pm

10. Become a corporate sponsor

While we strive to be as self-sustaining as possible, with a high percentage of our annual income raised through our income generating projects, we are extremely grateful for the support and partnerships that assist us in expanding our impact and reach.  It enables us to continue doing what we do (and love!)

There are various ways a company can work with us:

  • Contract us to collect your recycling
  • Contract our Outsourced Business Services to assist with business requirements for example packaging, labelling, assembling etc.
  • Order delicious baked goods and sandwiches from our bakery for your meetings and events
  • Sponsor individual beneficiaries to support their wellbeing
  • Sponsor the residential costs for ten residents per year
  • Sponsor a vehicle, or the running costs thereof I would like to think this through
For more information please email us info@oasis.org.za

We are proud to be associated with some of the most established and largest brands and companies in South Africa. We are also associated with numerous smaller companies.  These organisations recognise the crucial work we do in making the lives of the intellectually disabled happier, healthier, and more fulfilling.

Any questions? Contact us here.


Oasis Recycling etiquette

Our Claremont recycling services are open 
Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 3:30pm and Saturday, 8.30am – 1pm.


Here are some friendly reminders regarding recycling etiquette at Oasis:
  • Please remember to package and drop off your waste in one container.
  • Kindly pre-rinse all food containers such as cans, glass bottles etc. before delivery.
  • Kindly refrain from leaving your recycling at Oasis, should we be closed.
  • Please take careful note of items we cannot accept or recycle.

Our recycling services are limited which means we are not able to accept ALL recycling. We can only take glass, aluminium tins, all paper, cardboard, magazines and books. 


We can accept:

  • All paper, including newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, junk mail, circulars, office scrap, envelopes and books. If the latter is in a good condition, please consider donating it to the bookstore.
  • Brown Cardboard boxes
  • All glass bottles and jars.
  • All cooldrink cans. (Aluminium only)

We cannot accept:

  • No plastic, at all, of any sort. So, no clingwrap, no florist wrap or cellophane. No margarine tubs. None of those thin plastic packets, used for bread, milk or veggies. And no plastic or cellophane food trays, at all, whether used for meat, muffins, fruit or biscuits.
  • No food cans
  • No printed cereal boxes
  • No colour cardboard
  • No egg boxes
  • No wax-lined boxes. Including banana boxes, milk cartons, juice cartons or yoghurt boxes.
  • No styrofoam products.
  • No foil items.
  • No
  • No broken glass
  • No garden refuse, LED Batteries, medicine or light bulbs
  • Disposable nappies, food scraps, PVC like JIVE cooldrink bottles, wet waste, chemical waste or medical waste.

Please pay particular attention to this list. 

We do apologise for the inconvenience this may cause. We understand these restraints are frustrating, however COVID-19 has made the recycling of the above-listed items impractical for the time being and we simply do not have the manpower to render a full service. We will keep you up-to-date, and advise the moment these restraints are removed. Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support. 


Need to get in touch with us:
Recycling Manager – Beraldine Jagers
Cnr Lee Road and Imam Haron Claremont, 7708
021 671 2698



Oasis Food Parcel Appeal 2021

Dear Oasis family,

Your generosity for our food parcel campaign at the end of 2020 helped to care for, nourish, and encourage 350 of our beneficiaries’ households. We are all mindful of the challenges that millions of South Africans have experienced over the past 19 months.  Challenges that have been felt across the globe.  In trying to aid and do our part, Oasis has distributed hundreds upon hundreds of food parcels during this period to those who have found themselves unable to feed their families.  We have also provided social, emotional and health support.

Now in our 13th year of food parcels, this year we are aiming to give 400 beneficiaries with intellectual disabilities, the gift of food, nourishment, and care. One parcel costs approximately R600, and the aim, with your help, is to fill as many parcels as possible between now and Christmas closure. You don’t need to contribute an entire parcel, any amount or item is greatly appreciated.

Each parcel will hold nourishing, low-cost food, health and hygiene items, as well as a few treats.


Every rand, every tin of baked beans, or packet of rice donated helps us put together a food parcel. We hope that you will assist us in gifting our beneficiaries with intellectual disabilities and their families, by supporting our appeal and sharing this message with your family, friends, colleagues and neighborhood groups.

The details of how to give a tin, or packet of food, or to contribute cash towards filling parcels are below.


Thank you to all who can assist. I am also so aware that many who have helped in the past are not able to anymore because of the havoc wreaked by the pandemic.

You remain in our thoughts.

We all look forward to a time when things will be easier for all of us.

Kind regards Gail Bester Executive Director   |   021 671 2698






Food parcel list is here..


For all food item donations, we have set up a collection point at the Recycling drop-off, in Claremont: Cnr Lee and Imam Haron Roads.



Cash donations can be dropped off directly at our Claremont Oasis Book Store and Bric-a-Brac shop where the cashiers will ring up your donation under “food parcels”.


Deposit directly into:

Account name: Oasis Association

Bank: First National Bank

Branch: Claremont

Acc no: 593 7179 7078

Branch code: 200 109

If you drop off cash or deposit money into our bank account, please stipulate FOOD PARCEL and give us your NAME and CONTACT DETAILS, so that we can issue you with a Section 18A tax receipt for your tax rebates.

EMAIL US Please email your deposit slip or EFT transaction download to donor@oasis.org.za


Reduce your spending by shopping for previously used products at Oasis

In the past we all thought we had to buy brand new products. This way we spent way too much and often our money ran out before the month did. But fast forward a few years and it is now not only acceptable, but it is trendy to shop from “secondhand shops,” or as some would have it, gently used, previously loved or vintage shops.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you call it, pre-loved shopping not only saves money, but it also saves the planet, and often it benefits a wider cause or small local business. We have all seen charity shops, book exchanges, used furniture shops, entire product lines made from recycled materials and objects, and those wonderful boutiques where exquisite clothing, often once worn, is affordable. Antique shops sell used items – i.e. The items in an antique shop must be used items to qualify as antiques!

Charity shops are not focused on retail sales but rather are a means to an end which could support a cause such as people with disability.


Your saving money by shopping at these shops becomes mindful shopping with conscience.  Their shelves are usually packed with all sorts of quirky, interesting treasures, scattered amongst entirely everyday items. It is not unusual to see a beautiful crystal glass juxtaposed against a cheap coffee mug. These conscience shops offer a wide range of products dependent on what the donors donate. Stock changes constantly, so you never know what you will find, and you need to keep popping in. But they are guaranteed to save you money.

Several entrepreneurs have set up businesses around selling products made from recycled materials or by just selling on used goods.  At these stores, items like used wooden pallets and cardboard boxes are sold at much less than the original price.  Reuse and recycling are two of the chief pillars to managing our domestic waste.

Buy local.  Support your local charity shops and businesses selling used products.




2021 is the year of upcycling. Many people find themselves in a financial squeeze and it is time for a little out-of-the-box creative thinking.  Anyone can join the upcycling revolution.

Upcycling most often “… creates a product of higher quality or value than the original.”   It is all about a splash of creativity, taking something old, and worn, and turning it into something chic, modern, and useful.

A full-length evening dress is the new mini dress. The rusted wheelbarrow becomes a planter. The china teacup sans its saucer, is a sugar bowl. Plastic bottles are bird feeders. A surplus dining table cut down to size is a new coffee table. New upholstery, a lick of paint, and new handles can create beautiful trendy furniture.

Look around your own home or your local used product shop and get started with an upcycling project.

For a little inspiration simply Google upcycling ideas. There is a wealth of ideas online that are sure to get your creative juices flowing.


Stay up to date with our news and upcycling tips on our Facebook page.

Contact us 021 671 2698 or email us info@oasis.org.za

Find us at  the Corner of Lee Road and Imam Haron Road , Claremont, 7708

Trading hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 3pm;

Saturdays 9am – 1pm.


Keeping up-to-date with our Oasis family during Covid Lockdown


A time to rebuild and take stock

It seems to us that special day care centres like ours are going to be amongst the last “schools” to return after lockdown. When we return, we will have to stagger passenger transport and days between the children in order to meet the distancing requirements. Similarly, once we receive the official go ahead, beneficiaries at the workshops will only return in small teams, once staff have returned and learnt the new ropes of business unusual.

Looking back

In March 2014 our workshop in Elsie’s River burnt down. It was devastating! The building was immediately condemned and declared uninhabitable. Furniture, fittings, equipment, and offices were destroyed and four passenger vehicles severely damaged. Thankfully no one was injured. On the Sunday morning of the fire we sat in the yard on upturned crates while the fire department fought the last of the blaze. We felt very battered and bewildered. The one thing we all agreed on was that our beneficiaries should not suffer unduly. We started putting together our plans for the 200 staff and beneficiaries to relocate to our Claremont services. Exactly 24 hours after our planning commenced, the first hired bus with 60 passengers arrived at Claremont. To this day I am still in awe of the staff team who made this happen.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – Lao Tzu


Taking Oasis to our beneficiaries

In a way the fire was a microcosm dress rehearsal of sorts. I draw strength from knowing that our staff are now even more determined that our beneficiaries not suffer unduly due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working hard at implementing our programme to take Oasis to our beneficiaries. Staff really miss our beneficiaries and it was an easy exercise calling them back to do this work.

“I draw strength from knowing that our staff are now even more determined that our beneficiaries not suffer unduly due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


At our day centres for 90 children with severe/profound intellectual disability, each individual has their own development programme. Some need physiotherapy and some need social work interventions. We have taken Oasis to 76 beneficiaries and their families this week, bearing messages of encouragement to families as well as health and hygiene products, nourishing food and of course toys and games for the children. A programme implementer also assisted to show families how personal development could be continued at home. The 76 beneficiaries also included many from the Oasis workshops.

No one forgotten

In the next weeks we plan to develop a much wider reaching programme – aiming to reach those who may for example not need food assistance but who need encouragement, to be helped to keep safe and who, like all of us at this time, need to see some familiar faces or would love to be given a simple puzzle, craft or magazine.

Huge gratitude

We are so grateful for the messages of support, the encouragement and the financial assistance we have received. In so many ways it keeps us going. Please bear with us if you have not received a tax receipt and our thank you letter yet. Should you wish to support us again in taking Oasis to our beneficiaries, or keeping our wonderful staff team well fed and warm during the dreadful challenges they face, please make a donation via our website or through SnapScan. The fire of 2014 destroyed brick and mortar and many possessions, but it didn’t destroy our spirit. It was rebuilt and occupied within a year. The COVID-19 pandemic has the power to end lives which can never be rebuilt. Please help us to rebuild as many livelihoods and broken spirits as we can. Gail Bester, Executive Director Click here to find out how you can support us.



Should Oasis reopen our recycling now or not? This is the question which we find posed to us, and for which the answer is proving to be one of the toughest balancing acts we have ever had to face. Oasis recycling drop off is important for several reasons:

  • Recyclers need us so they can channel materials into a system to prevent those materials from going into landfills.
  • Our recycling initiative helps us to provide work to hundreds of people with disabilities.

But in these uncertain times, nothing is normal, and the number of issues we face in making the decision to open or not are numerous – truly a balancing act. So, we find ourselves weighing up options and trying to balance all sorts of considerations and complexities in order to make the right decision at the right time.

Balancing the question of whether Oasis should reopen its recycling drop off to the public, has been one of the toughest balancing acts I’ve ever experienced.


We have had numerous queries and some helpful suggestions, and believe me when I say, we are also all eager to get back to work and earn an income. But in order to explain our dilemma, I thought I should share some of the reasoning and context behind our decision to remain closed for now. Amongst other considerations, here are some of the issues:

  • Up to 300 households drop their recycling materials if not daily, then weekly at Oasis – literally thousands of drops off per month. Trying to receive these materials at our gates rather than on our premises would not only create traffic congestion but would still require a high number of workers.
  • Well in excess of 200 staff and disabled beneficiaries work at processing recycling across the two projects at Claremont and Elsies River. Some months we can barely keep up with the volumes. This is particularly true after our closure period in December/January when recyclers pile up their materials while they wait for Oasis to reopen. If we were to operate now, only 50% of our staff may return, severely limiting our ability to process the intake, and yet it would be impossible to restrict drop offs to 50% of their usual volumes.
  • In September 2019 the prices for some materials bottomed out as there was a moratorium on exporting to China. This impacted us greatly and these prices are yet to recover. In April 2020 we were informed of at least two other buyers who are not buying materials for the foreseeable future. This will rectify itself with time as the COVID-19 impact on the economy lessens, but it is still a large impact in our current financial circumstances.
  • By law we may not open until we are able to safeguard the workforce. Part of this is the protective personal equipment (PPE) which we started ordering in early April. PPE is a large, unplanned expense against our already very depleted and finite cash flow and even if we did have the capital to purchase all the PPE we needed, there are huge hold ups with delivery dates. Some affordable good quality items are only available by the end of May. Bear in mind our entire Oasis family across eight services, is 700+ people.
  • Most of our disabled workforce can’t use public transport and travel to work on 32 to 40-seater Oasis buses. Our workers eat lunch in a happily crammed canteen. Add to that the hundreds of members of the public who interface with us when they recycle and shop at our Claremont branch daily. Our beneficiaries’ limitations render many of them to a cognitive functionality of a primary school learner, and they all desire to be social and warm with each other, ultimately making social distancing impossible.

And so even though we have tried to find alternatives for our supporters, we’ve come up empty handed, and while being very mindful of how we are disappointing hundreds of recycling households and businesses, we have had to make the difficult decision to remain closed for now.


We are told by recyclers that a permit is required to drop off materials at local municipal recycling dumps – we can’t confirm that at this time. It is heart breaking, but for now we need to all discard our materials through our household wheelie bin collections. Please forgive us but we quite simply cannot do recycling now, and we promise we have not made this decision lightly. Should you wish to assist us to buy signage, thermometers, soap, sanitisers, masks, visors, and/ or aprons, your contributions would be greatly appreciated. Please don’t relax your disciplined approach to staying safe. Lockdown will slowly be relaxed but we must stay vigilant. Thank you for your support. recycling@oasis.org.za Click here to find out how you can support us. 


UPDATE: In the meantime, if you would like to continue recycling, here is a list of alternative options:

• The recycling centre behind Constantia mall is open for glass, paper and plastic.

• You can drop off your recycling at JustJunk in Wynberg (cost R20 per refuse bag), or contact them to arrange a collection (they will give you a quote depending on your requirements).

• Sign up with Clearer Conscience who will collect your recycling weekly (for a monthly fee).

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time.


I thought reading may ease some of my lockdown frustration and so I have embarked on reading the highly acclaimed “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.“Becoming” opens with some references in the preface to what kids want to do when they grow up. Casting my mind back, I can clearly remember my aspirations. None were generous at all. I wanted to own a bicycle with an ice box at the front, filled with ice creams. I dreamt of riding about the neighbourhood ringing a bell and summoning the neighbourhood kids. My dream was based entirely on my own love of ice cream. What better way to have my fill of that delicious frozen goodness, especially when my pocket money was spent? I lost interest in this career when the first person landed on the moon. After that all I wanted was to become an astronaut. I didn’t know then that I would have an irrational fear of heights. But as selfish as I was, other nicer kids dreamt of being police officers, doctors, social workers and teachers. They had generous ambitions which would help others and save lives. Funny how life works out?! Today we find ourselves in a global pandemic with unprecedented hardship and loss, and yet this is a time where each one of us can do exactly that – help others, care and save lives. President Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Tuesday evening and spoke about saving lives and livelihoods. It strikes me that each one of us can play a role, without ever having to study at university or an academy. Even overgrown selfish kids like me can play a role. This role includes and is not limited to:

  • Staying home unless you have to go out to buy essential food or for medical reasons.
  • Wear a mask and if set up to do so, make masks for others.
  • Wash your hands very thoroughly with soap, regularly.
  • Keep your distance from others in the shop, at the taxi rank and on the pavement.
  • Don’t entertain visitors and don’t visit others unless to assist a vulnerable person.
  • Keep paying wages if at all possible.
  • Help others to understand how to access Government and other relief.
  • Contribute to a charity or a COVID-19 appeal of your choice.
  • Show gratitude to all medical and essential workers.

At Oasis our prime focus has been networking with all staff and beneficiaries at home with constant education and encouragement. Feeding beneficiaries has been a real challenge. Although a lot of feeding and food parcels are reported, in reality accessing this relief on the ground is extremely difficult At the same time and trying to feed all our beneficiaries, we are also working on our phased in re-entry to the workplace and procuring the required hygiene and health items necessary for the reopening.

I would like to say thank you so much for the generous outpouring of care from our friends and supporters. We are encouraged and most grateful for your help. Those who would still like to help us, please remember no amount is too small.


We can all sell ice cream or become astronauts later, but right now we need to help others, care and save lives. Be safe. Gail Bester, Executive Director



Intellectual disability is often misunderstood and too often unkind labels are attached to people with intellectual disabilities. Some say our beneficiaries are slow. Hardly. You should see them do athletics and when they are playing soccer! They’re much, much quicker than I am! Some have even represented the Western Cape at SA trials and some have taken part and won medals at the Special Olympics. Aside from ‘slow’, many other labels are also used – all of which I will not seek to disprove now. What I do know – above anything else is that a common identity does not confer on any of our beneficiaries. They are all individuals and like any cross-section of a group, they all differ. Some can sing and some sound dreadful. Some have naturally positive personalities. Some are grumpy. Some like tuna and lettuce on whole wheat and some prefer chips. What they do all have in common is a significant limitation in their cognitive functioning that translates into areas of limited adaptive functioning.

For example, identifying and avoiding risks; understanding consequences; abstract thinking; understanding time and money; and so on and so forth… It is these limitations that are their very real daily challenges. So when you place 10 remarkable staff in lockdown with 24 residents with intellectual disabilities, it is these unique challenges that staff must deal with. If residents battle to understand the risks and consequences of COVID-19, then handwashing and physical distancing requires patient persistence and repetition. Staff lend their support, provide guidance and supervision and above all they give love.

This isn’t dutiful love, nor is it written into job descriptions. It is authentic care, which isn’t difficult to give thanks to the nature of our amazing staff. Oasis is extremely fortunate to have the calibre of staff that we do. All in all we have 157 staff across all our centres. This includes 26 youth interns doing fulltime work readiness for a year and working alongside our beneficiaries as companion workers. We salute all of our staff and especially our house staff for all they are doing for our residents.

We also salute all of you who have sent us good wishes and/or money – we are deeply grateful. (Forgive us if you haven’t received our formal thanks and receipt yet. You will.) Oasis is in a critical place financially with all of our work programmes closed, (shops, bakeries, recycling projects, confidential paper shredding for Government departments and businesses, and packaging and processing jobs for large companies.)

We understand that this awful pandemic has left no-one untouched, and disposable income may be very limited. But if you are in the position to assist us in any way, please do. No amount is too small. We need our full complement of staff returning to their jobs, when they can, to be able to keep our services open and opportunities available to our 588 beneficiaries.

I hope and pray that I can count on you?

And please help save lives – stay home.

Gail Bester, Executive Director





We are humbled by the concern expressed for all of our beneficiaries and staff during this awful time. Many have asked what we are doing. Oasis closed its shops, bakeries and recycling depot to the public on 18 March, which seemed early but our first priority was to provide as much protection for our vulnerable family as possible. Weeks before that we embarked on a hand washing education programme with everyone. A special team of staff, whether cleaners or not, were drafted into deep cleaning teams to keep all touch points and surfaces disinfected.

When it became obvious that social distancing was very difficult to achieve amongst our beneficiaries we asked families who could, to keep them home. We worked with a small team toiling to bring in as much income as possible, in the knowledge that very tough times lie ahead and every cent would count. Staff and beneficiaries with high risk conditions were sent home with, wherever possible, food.
A small team of staff worked until lockdown, arranging security; communicating protocols; making our monthly payments and arranging working from home for those who could. A reduced group of Oasis house residents and a team of wonderful staff, (some even sacrificing being with their own families) went into lockdown at our houses in Kenwyn and Ruyterwacht. I am silenced by the inherent decency of the Oasis staff team who take their duty to our beneficiaries so seriously. They are having a lot of fun together. I’ll also keep you posted about how staff are networking in groups and how we are looking for ways to find support to buy food and to get it to those in our daily feeding programme.
If you are an essential worker or need to shop for food, please take all precautions.
For the rest – please stay at home.

Gail Bester, Executive Director




How to speak to people with Intellectual Disability about COVID – 19

Do provide information Often people think that children and adults with intellectual disabilities do not understand what is happening in society and exclude them from conversations. This is often untrue, unsafe and goes against their constitutional right to receive information that could impact their health. While the levels of understanding will vary, many people with intellectual disabilities have already noticed the change in lifestyle, the anxiety in their community and they would have heard the repetition of the word ‘Coronavirus’ – it is everywhere. So step 1 is to put together a plan to provide your children and adults with intellectual disabilities with the correct information. Find the best way to share information Many clients with intellectual disabilities could have a barrier to communicating and this could be a barrier in receiving or understanding information such as:

  • a hearing or visual impairment
  • decreased understanding of language
  • decreased ability to process information
  • decreased ability to store information/memory issues.

What this means is that YOU need to find the best way to relay the information regarding COVID-19.

Most importantly, help people with intellectual disabilities remain calm and enjoy the time at home with family. Explain that we can and will get through this, but everyone needs to work together and stay at home.  


Important points to share

  • COVlD-19 is a new type of virus (that’s like a germ) that makes people sick. It can also be called the Coronavirus
  • People get Coronavirus when they come into contact with other people who already have the virus. They might not know they have it and if they cough or sneeze or talk, the virus spreads from their mouth and either onto other people or onto stuff around them like tables or clothing.
  • People who get the virus might have a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath (that’s when it feels like it’s difficult to breathe).
  • Most people who get sick will be able to stay home and get better but some people will need to go to hospital.
  • We can help stop the spread of the virus by washing our hands with soap and water. We wash our hands slowly, making sure to wash between fingers and all over our hands. We can also use hand sanitiser.
  • We wash our hands regularly and try really hard not to touch our eyes, mouth and face during the day.
  • We can also slow down the spread of the virus by staying at home. You may have noticed that your school or workplace is closed for now and you are at home. We will all need to stay home for a little bit to try to help not spread the virus. We won’t be able to go visit our favourite places right now, the government will tell us when it’s safe to do so.
  • It is normal to feel scared or worried that you might get the virus – talk to the people who care for you about it and they will help you. Remember, not everyone will get sick with this virus but you could still get a cold or flu or even a tummy bug so don’t be afraid to tell them when you’re not feeling well.
  • The government has placed our country under ‘Lockdown’ this means we all have to stay in our homes to stay protected from the virus. We will be safe in our homes and all look after each other. We will still be able to get the things we need like food and water. We must not panic.

Tips to help someone with intellectual disability manage during COVID-19 Lockdown

  • Help the person understand the Coronavirus and try to include people with intellectual disabilities in the conversations to learn about the virus.
  • What to say: The government has placed our country under ‘Lockdown‘ this means we all have to stay in our homes to stay protected from the virus. We will be safe in our homes and all look after each other. We will still be able to get the things we need like food and water. We must not panic.
  • Manage the amount of news they watch and listen to about COVlD-19, too much can make anyone anxious and scared.
  • As far as possible, plan the day and include activities such as puzzles, drawing, reading/being read to, exercise, chores etc.
  • Include those with intellectual disabilities in family conversations, games and chores.
  • Use pictures for reminders to wash hands regularly e.g. put pictures up in the bathroom of handwashing sequence.
  • Use pictures to do an emotional ‘check-in‘ daily – you could do this with emoji’s on a cell phone or draw happy – sad – sceared – sleepy – sick faces on a page and ask the child or adult to point at how they are feeling in the morning and the evening. This will help manage any anxiety they may have and will also help them speak to you about when they feel sick. Many people with intellectual disabilities might be sacred to say they feel sick because they’re scared to go to hospital or could even be afraid they may die.
  • Remember that many children and adults with intellectual disabilities do best with routine. So ask their school or protective workplace for a copy of their daily routine and try to stick to those meal and activity times to limit confusion and frustration OR if that is not possible, develop a new yet similar routine as a family.
  • If you have access to the internet, research activities. There are loads available on YouTube and via general Google searches. Activities like making things from recycled items, baking, cooking, playing matching or memory games or even working in the garden are good ideas.
  • The internet is also a good way to stay in contact with friends and family – can you set up a WhatsApp group for their friends? Or a time for chats with other people in their lives?
  • Most importantly, help people with intellectual disabilities remain calm and enjoy the time at home with family. Explain that we can and will get through this, but everyone needs to work together and stay at home.
  • If you’re in a group home or residential facility, and have stopped visitors, explain why their family will not be visiting. You could:
    • Set up WhatsApp video calls with family members
    • Put up a calendar explaining how long the physical distancing will last and when they can expect visitors again [this is difficult as we’re not sure at this point but a month is a good place to start and explain when it needs to be extended]
    • As far as possible, try to stick to normal routines. If therapists/educators are not visiting, try to do some group exercise or group craft activities. There are many free videos like this on YouTube.

Most importantly, help people with intellectual disabilities remain calm and enjoy the time at home with family. WCFID Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability info@wcfid.co.za www.wcfid.co.za 


2018 – 2019 Oasis Association Annual Review

Oasis is a non-profit organisation, a legal persona in its own right, with no shareholders or owners. It is governed by a non-remunerated board of people who have the ability to find balance between managing limited resources effectively, maximising efficiencies and maintaining the ethos of care that has been the hallmark of our work over the years.

“Oasis came into being because a group of parents refused to take no for an answer. Little did they know that their tireless efforts would, over decades, unlock incredible opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.” – Gail Bester; Executive Director


Today Oasis offers opportunities for more than 500 people with intellectual disabilities as our primary beneficiaries, and their families as our secondary beneficiaries.

These opportunities in Claremont, Delft, Elsies River, Kenwyn, Ravensmead and Ruyterwacht, include:

• Group living in affordable housing.

• Occupation and training in protected and supported environments.

• Day Care Centres with specialised care for severely and profoundly disabled kids.

• Activity groups for adults who need high levels of supervision.

Read a short review from the Executive Director, the Chairperson and the Treasurer about how the period of 2018 – 2019 went for the organisation with updates on staffing, financials and the amazing growth and expansion the organisation has experienced recently.