preparing and equipping the next generation of haiti
The Oasis Project exists to further prepare and equip the youth that have aged out of Centre Children International Lifeline d'Haiti (Lifeline) to contribute to the continued progress and growth of Haiti. We purpose to accomplish this by working with each youth and focusing on spiritual development, continued education along with vocational training, independent living skills, emotional wholeness, and personal accountability.
Why we exist
Empowering the youth of Lifeline is an important step in the transition process for children who have grown up there. While the creche does everything it can to provide a safe, nurturing atmosphere for all of the children there, the facility and the staff lack the ability to fulfill all of the societal duties and roles that would traditionally be passed on within a family unit. Equipping youth to interact with the world outside of the home, fostering relationships with extended family, fellow church members, and neighbors, as well as preparing him or her to function independently are all essential steps in the transition process.
The Oasis Project is the culmination of the work begun at Lifeline. It is the final step in the process of preparing these young men and women to participate in and contribute to the Haitian community, giving them both roots and wings to take with them into their futures. Click HERE to view photos of all the students in The Oasis Project.
It is important that children and youth are not forced to accept certain beliefs. Rather, they should be guided in their relationship with God and in their understanding of spiritual truths and the Bible. The goal for the spiritual development within the Oasis Project is for the youth to adopt and take ownership of a Biblical worldview and develop a heart that loves God and loves others.
Education is the key to the future. To fully prepare the youth at Oasis to be successful and independent, a strong emphasis must be placed on obtaining a suitable education and job skills that will take them into the future. A strong initial focus will be placed on encouraging and empowering each young person in the program to further his or her high school education. Beyond that, through the semi-annual interview process, each youth will be guided into attainable goals for future education and employment. Those that show academic aptitude and desire will be assisted in seeking further academic advancement through attendance at universities, locally or abroad. Others will be directed toward a vocational path where they will be connected with trade schools and apprenticeship opportunities that will allow them to develop skills that will sustain and support a household in the future.
It goes without saying that daily life in Haiti looks very different from daily life in the United States. The youths entering this program have lived semi-independently for a majority of their lives, learning to meet their own immediate needs, but not always in ways that are sustainable. One goal of the Oasis Project is to give these youth the tools necessary to not only survive, but thrive in their environment by focusing on the ability to maintain one's health, manage personal finances, and utilize local resources. Instruction and oversight for these skills will be provided by a local Haitian couple.
Everyone has emotional baggage that must be addressed at some point in their lives. Children from hard places with a history that includes the loss of their family often aren't able to process that loss without professional assistance. We will work with the youth and staff at Oasis to begin to process some of their grief, loss, and pain, to practice forgiveness for those who have hurt them, and to personally experience the overwhelming grace that Christ offers through redemption.
The program can only be considered a success if long term growth and development are demonstrated in each youth prior to graduation. To facilitate this growth and observe progress, bi-annual reviews will be held with each resident of the Oasis Project. Milestones and progress markers will be evaluated and goals for the future will also be set. Because these young men and women are entering the program at varying levels of preparedness, no specific time-frame for completion will be set. Rather, youths will continue in the program as needed as long as achievable goals are being met along the way.