The Oasis family is a world-wide one, with projects serving communities from Grimsby to Southampton, from Bangladesh to Mozambique. Oasis Community Learning is just one subsidiary of Oasis Charitable Trust, out of five. For students at Oasis Academies in Bristol, the geographical distance between them and their global partners at Oasis Academy Musoto in Uganda is about to become much more tangible as between them they embarked on a fundraising cycle of the 4,600 miles.
As part of their ongoing support of their fellow pupils in Uganda, students at Oasis Academies in the south-west completed a sponsored cycle over two months on five static bikes – Oasis Academies Brightstowe, Brislington and John Williams covering 1,000 miles each while Oasis Academies Bank Leaze, Connaught, Long Cross, Marksbury Road and New Oak completing over 300 miles each.
To kick-start the marathon effort John Barneby, Chief Operating Officer of Oasis Community Learning, joined students at Oasis Academy John Williams along with former World Champion Relay Runner and Olympian Derek Redmond for the first couple of miles. Once he climbed off the bike, he paid tribute to the students in Bristol:
“Across Bristol young people at Oasis Academies regularly take part in events such as this; giving up time and raising money for their fellow students in Oasis Academy Musoto in Uganda. Thanks to their efforts, they are enabling work that transforms the lives of children over four and half thousand miles away, and on behalf of Oasis, I’d like to thank them.”
“We are also grateful for our partnership with our service providers Itec, who are our valued partners in supporting Oasis Academy Musoto and the wider local community.”
The fundraising by Bristol’s Oasis Academies last year meant that Oasis Academy Musoto recently received a shipping container that will soon be transformed into an IT classroom. Phina Kamanyire, Operations Manager at Oasis Uganda, explained how the new resources will be used:
“(The Classroom).. .will go a long way in equipping the school teachers with resources from the internet and kids for the first time in our community will get to know the basic computer skills preparing them for a hopeful future.”
“Over 40 youths are very excited for the opportunity to learn computer skills and are very keen to be recruited for the first class when we start. Our parents from Oasis Academy Musoto are very glad that their children are going to be computer literates-a skill themselves have never been able to acquire the whole of their lives.”
This year’s fundraising took place over October and November, with the final miles being completed by students of Oasis Academy Brightstowe.