I have learned how to sew, but more than that I have learned how to love people.” 

May was a time of great celebration for families and staff as ten girls graduated from the Oasis tailoring course. The following week, we took the girls to Domboshawa, a park close to Harare, to mark the end of their course and to reflect on the past year. It was very powerful for the team to hear from the girls: 

“Oasis is my family, it is where I belong.” 

“I have learned that I can move on from bad things which have happened to me.” 

“I promise to serve my community the best way I can.” 

Over and over, we heard how coming to Oasis three times a week and becoming part of the Oasis family has changed these girls in such significant ways, in addition to giving them a skill with which they can now learn a livelihood. They are more at peace with who they are, with their family histories, with their future hopes. They have learned how to live in peace with their relatives where previously there were broken relationships. They have learned that they can work to build peace in their neighbourhoods and communities by valuing people and sharing their skills. 

The ten graduates have been coming to Oasis once a fortnight for mentoring sessions as they launch their own businesses and apply for jobs. They are also excited to be meeting the new group of fifteen girls who have started the tailoring course this month. We look forward to similar transformation in them! 

~ Lisa Harrison