About us

Our Objectives

In 2020 we spent time reflecting on where the Foundation should place it focus in the coming years as the growing climate and environmental crisis becomes more urgent and impacts on lives and communities. The outcome was ‘Towards 2025’, our strategic direction based on our for four key focus areas, with the overarching theme of  ‘Building individual and community resilience.’ 

Our Approach

How we work is as important to us as what we do. We value and nourish the ‘whole person’ and believe that all humans have the capacity to learn and develop. Our Whole Person Learning approach asserts that there are many intrinsic, inseparable and dynamic relationships that make up the whole person.

Through whole person learning, the Oasis Foundation seeks to be a catalyst by providing educational and experiential opportunities that bring about positive, integrated social change fit for a healthy future. This means engaging in an active process of learning to live more fully and act more consciously and intentionally.

We believe, and our lived experience has shown us, that using approaches that support change-makers to be more of their whole, authentic self can be transformational and long lasting. It helps people to develop the skills to be more powerful and effective in their activism, to build productive reciprocal relationships for change and to build resilience to counteract helplessness, burn-out or losing heart.

Whole Person learning

approaches that go beyond the surface and work at depth to support personal growth.

Peer-based relationships

exploring and promoting ways of working that distribute power, support individuals’ passions and build direction through co-production.

Seeking the emergent

shedding light on what’s not already known and prototyping new approaches.

Building connection

when people are connected to their own deeper sense of self, to each other, to the natural world and the society they live in, they are at their most creative and effective.

Supporting the creation of a new story

we increasingly find that meaningful change comes from creating and nurturing the new rather than repeating old patterns of thinking and behaviour. 

Who we are

Board of Trustees 

Supporting Practitioners Version

Tim Morgan –Finance and Audit (Advisory Group)

Nick Dyson – Charity Law (Advisory Group)

Jill Cox – Mental health (Advisory Group)

Michael Pitchford – Third Sector (Advisory Group)

Johan Gunner – Entrepreneurship (Advisory Group)

We are also supported by the Oasis associate community of experienced coaches, facilitators and organisational development experts who generously donate their time to initiatives. 

Our connections

As a small charity with limited resources we are extremely fortunate to have partnerships with a number of like-minded organisations and individuals across the globe. This enables us to extend our reach and be more effective.

We say thank you to the GRLI (Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative), oikos the international student organisation, Social Action Inquiry Scotland and Northstar Housing Group

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Our Story

We began in Uganda...

Our work in Uganda was the basis of the founding vision for the Oasis Foundation. Inspired by a trip to her birthplace in 1998, the Founding Chair and instigator, Zena Bernacca brought back a request from teachers in a small subsistence-farming part of Uganda for Information about HIV/AIDS, project planning skills for teachers and a connection to a charity in the West.

This meeting led to a 19 year relationship with Benefits to Orphans and Disabled Childrens Organisation – BODCO. All three requests were possible and the meeting led to a challenging, demanding and impactful relationship over a 19 year period.

Over 4,000 children have been beneficiaries of BODCO over the years through direct scholarships at primary, secondary and/or tertiary education; supply of scholastic materials; contact with World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child; through typing classes; through the library donated from a Humberside Nursery school; through the building of new classrooms; refurbishing of teachers’ dwellings on school premises. In addition 2 women’s groups were supported to develop ways to sustain themselves and are still thriving.

In that time there have been many appeals for funds: for a maize mill; paying for an employee; a goat scheme; a poultry scheme; building of offices for BODCO and the internet café and computer classroom.

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There have been many visitors and supporters to BODCO from OF including Zena and other colleagues who sustained the connection through the years. There have been small groups going to support and sight-see the beautiful country of Uganda as well as a school trip in 2010. When the offices were opened a tree was planted that is a dedication to the support Bryce Taylor gave to BODCO through his guidance as a board member of OF.

There has been immense learning on both sides with ebbs and flows during those 19 years. In 2017 it was a time of closure and negotiating the completion of the work of OF with BODCO.

The relationship with BODCO came to a close at the point where OF was changing its direction and was able to conclude the relationship with an acknowledgment that BODCO was unable to complete the repayment of a loan made some seven years ago but has made strenuous efforts in a difficult economic climate to close on the debt as much as they could.

It was important to the Trustees to ensure that BODCO’s executive committee understood and supported our decision. We wanted to acknowledge the commitment and diligence taken by all involved to sign a final grant agreement with the Board of BODCO that reflected the spirit of our work together. Our deepest thanks went to Zena Bernacca, and the partners in Uganda, for all that had been achieved.

The Foundation made a final donation to the Kawempe Home Care in 2019, which provides provides children and their guardians with access to specialist cancer care and accommodation, meals, counselling, nursing care, legal aid, educational play sessions and daily transport to the Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital.

OF would like to thank all those who have given generously over the years in support of the work in Uganda from those one-off gifts to monthly payments and to those who gave significant amounts to train a teacher or to furbish the computer classroom and internet café. And of course, thanks go to Oasis Human Relations who have, year on year, supported the work through Zena’s time; the time of Bryce Taylor and Nick Ellerby when they have been board members and the financial support that has been made available.

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Foundation Initiatives

To read about the Foundation’s initiatives and projects from 2018 onwards see current and past projects.

Current & Past Projects

Contact us

If we sound like the kind of people you would like to work with, please contact us

Contact Oasis