Giving is Social is supporting 'The Oasis', a shelter for rescued and abandoned babies, and a child advocacy centre in Pattaya, Thailand.
The Oasis provides a nurturing shelter to children who have been rescued from different situations or abandoned by their parents. It houses a small number of children in order to foster a family-style environment filled with the support and love necessary until repatriation or adoption is possible.
The heart of the Oasis is keeping families together by providing support to parents as an alternative option to giving up their children, leaving them unattended, or selling them. The Oasis also operates as a drop-in centre that provides one-stop care for victims and at risk children to come in and have access to build relationships with trusted adults that foster a safe environment for children to open up about possible allegations of abuse in their community. We provide access to counsellors and/or lawyers, education programs, basic needs such as food and programs for the prevention of sexual abuse and human trafficking. Full launch of the Child Advocacy Centre is aimed for late 2017.
Learn more here: www.theoasis-foundation.com.
The History of The Oasis
Sharmee, Founder / Executive Director
Born and raised within the comforts and security of Singapore (a first world country), Sharmee grew up having the luxury of living close to family and friends.
In 2014, however, she resolved to move to Pattaya, Thailand to start doing full-time volunteer child protection work.
Sharmee’s strong resolve and decision to leave the comforts of her safe environment to care for abused, abandoned or trafficked children was something forthcoming.
Sharmee taught young children for 7 years during which she ran a program for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. Subsequently, she worked with Every Nation Church (Singapore) whilst reaching out to women in Singapore’s red light districts. She did this to:
- Build relationships with women and girls actively in the sex trade through a consistent presence offering hope and help.
- Challenge girls and women who were ready to dream of a life, beyond the four walls they were in, free from sexual exploitation.
- Empower women to take steps toward counselling, education, savings, housing, and sobriety.
- Look out for signs/victims of human trafficking and provide a way out.
As she learned more about the trafficking of eastern European orphans, she got increasingly passionate about anti-human trafficking work – eventually leading to her decision to move to Thailand.
For the first 2 years since moving to Thailand, Sharmee volunteered with various organisations and agencies including Hand to Hand Foundation and Freeland Foundation, both reasearching to address the gaps in the system and working to protect the welfare of children. She saw exploited babies in begging rings that were drugged, incarcerated babies behind bars that were unclothed and hungry, abandoned babies in hospitals and orphanages that were left behind or thrown in rubbish dumps. Most organizations helped children above 3 years old but not babies.
In June 2016, The Oasis was started in a beautiful rented house that quickly became a refuge for the first 4 children that the house welcomed. Sharmee started with a team of 3 to fulfill the various roles in a nurturing home for the children.
Since then, volunteers from Thailand and overseas have been putting in their time, talents and treasures to support the home.
Jo-e Blanding, one of the volunteers, and founder of Giving is Social, says about Sharmee, “She has a natural maternal instinct and passion for kids and is always quick to know what is needed for them. She is a natural listener and has a patient disposition which is necessary for many victims of abuse and abandonment. Her desire is to see children and their mothers have access to freedom and justice while living purposeful lives.”
As a means of integrating herself into the Thai culture, Sharmee has taught herself to converse in Thai in a mere 2 years.
Sharmee continues to equip herself with the proper education needed to fulfill her role, and to comply with laws and regulations around child protection work. Some of her recent training were the “Trust Women Conference” in London, “1st Asean Conference on Crime, Prevention and Criminal Justice,” and “Trafficking and Exploitation Interviews, and the Multidisciplinary Response” hosted by Homeland Security Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Office of Victims Assistance’s (OVA) in Bangkok, Thailand.
For more information about The Oasis, please email (email hidden).
Some of the children at The Oasis. Faces have been blurred to protect their identities.
Inside The Oasis.