Monday, January 24, 2011

Where it began. . .

Every endeavor begins as an idea; the same is true for Oasis Haven, the wonderful organization I wish to help in my Jubilee Year. Eleven years ago, Lorna Campbell Salmon started Oasis Haven, with Jacky Viljoen, Graham Campbell Salmon and other key members of New Creation Family Church in response to the staggering numbers of orphans on the streets of Johannesburg. They bought the first Oasis Haven home with the intention to find adoptive families for as many abandoned babies as possible.

The government had implemented a moratorium on the establishment of babies’ homes, as it was believed that the large warehouse-type government-run orphanages were sufficient for dealing with the orphan problem. But the leaders of Oasis Haven knew more could be done. They registered as a foster parent-based ministry where key people would be registered, employed and financially supported as foster parents and the work began to find forever families for little ones who had no one, many of whom are HIV-positive.

Seven years later a second home was leased to accommodate older children and to maintain the limited size of the first Family Home. 
By the end of 2008 sixty babies and children had passed through the Oasis Haven homes. A significant proportion of these children have been placed into adoptive homes across the globe. Some have returned to their extended family and a small number have passed away while in Oasis’ tender care. 

In January 2009, Lorna Campbell-Salmon retired and a new leadership team was instated. With this new team, the organization was poised for growth. Oasis Haven restructured around more of a family-oriented approach, resolving to provide a loving family for those who have been utterly abandoned.  This means for those children who are not placed in adoptive families, Oasis Haven makes the long term commitment to be their family. Always.

I love that. A family no matter what. No matter what.

“Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.”  ~Gail Lumet Buckley

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