Frequently Asked Questions
Oasis Africa Australia is an independent/non-religious organisation, working in partnership with Josiah Munyutu - the principal of the Oasis Africa Kibera School & our in-country Oasis Africa Australia Project Manager, to assist financial growth and positive outcomes in its Community Project in Kibera.
2. How does Oasis Africa Kibera School child sponsorship differ from other child sponsorship programs?
The Oasis Africa Kibera school is not an orphanage, rather a day school located in Africa's biggest slum, Kibera. A large number of the children have been orphaned due to AIDS and other illnesses, however they all live within Kibera among their extended family, care givers and community.
In African society, the rebuilding of a healthy community, not just its children, is central to breaking extreme poverty and providing cultural linkages that enhance the child's resiliency. The children of Oasis Africa Kibera School provide the new future of the community, however it is critical to invest in education and economic growth of the entire community for the children to successfully grow.
As a result, your child sponsorship provides education, clothing, food supplements (breakfast & lunch), health care through a trained doctor, teachers, headmaster, classrooms and all classroom materials (tables, chairs, text books, stationery), teacher training, cooks and cooking equipment, maintenance and security personnel for every child attending the school as a whole. We also provide capacity building (micro-enterprise projects) for parents and/or caregivers of these children. If your child continues past primary school level, your sponsorship payments will support the higher education fees and all necessary equipment.
You can make a donation or sponsor a child on the Oasis Africa Australia website.
Click here to Sponsor a child: recurring giving of $35/month, $50/month or $420/annum
Click here to make a donation: one-off giving
Kibera is a large area within Nairobi, Kenya (just a few kilometres from the city centre). With over 1 million people living in extreme poverty conditions, it is Africa's largest slum. Extended families, generally totalling 8 or more, live in small mud/stick shacks with corrugated roof and no electricity (only 10% of shacks have electricity). There are no government hospitals or clinics, no proper sewerage systems and one latrine (hole in the ground) is shared by up to 400 people (50 Shacks).
Due to high unemployment and conflicts between the over 40 different tribes that live in Kibera, it suffers from high incidents of crime and violence. Although living in extreme poverty, the majority of children, parents and caregivers work hard at school and work initiatives to change the future, which has been greatly assisted with various NGO's including Oasis Africa.
Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya is one of the largest slums in Africa with a population of over one million people (estimates range widely). The name "Kibera" is derived from kibra, a Nubian word meaning "forest" or "jungle".
The slum originated in 1920 as a Nubian soldiers' settlement. The British colonial government of the time allowed them to squat on a hillside outside Nairobi, primarily because the British felt the Nubian population could be trusted during the Kikuyu-dominated Mau Mau movement of the 1950s.
After Kenyan independence in 1963, various forms of housing were made illegal by the government, rendering Kibera unauthorised on the basis of land tenure. Essentially, since the early 1970s landlords have rented out their property to a significantly greater number of tenants than legality permits. However the tenants, who are extremely poor, and are unable to obtain or rent land that is "legal", according to the Kenyan government. The slum-dwellers therefore find the rates offered to be affordable, so the number of residents in Kibera has increased despite its unauthorised nature.
This process has been exacerbated because, over time other tribes have moved into the area, renting land from the Nubian landlords. Since then, the Kikuyu have come to predominate the population and by 1974 had effectively gained control over administrative positions. This demographic change subsequently determined which of the dwellings, all of which are technically illegal, are demolished or permitted by the government. This occurs primarily through political patronage, as certain owners are protected by local government officers largely based on their Kikuyu ethnicity, and changes in administrative personnel may have drastic impacts on a landlord's security.
Kibera has residents coming from all the major ethnic backgrounds with some areas being specifically dominated by one tribe (ie. Kisumu Ndogo). Many are coming from rural areas due to the problems of rural underdevelopment. This multi-ethnic nature coupled with the tribalism of Kenyan politics has led Kibera to be the site of small ethnic conflicts throughout its near 100 year history (most recently in 2002 in which many resident's homes were attacked by arson).
Kibera is located southwest of Nairobi city centre and is equivalent to Manhattan's Cental Park (approximately 2.5 square kilometres (600 acres) in size). Nairobi Dam is to the south. It is sited approximately 5 km south east of the city centre of Nairobi. It holds more than a quarter of Nairobi's population. The estimated population density is 300,000/km² . There are a number of villages, including Kianda, Soweto, Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Lindi, Laini Saba, Siranga/Undugu, Makina and Mashimoni.
A railway line passes through Kibera, thus passengers heading for Kisumu can view the slum. Kibera has a railway station, but due to absence of effective commuter train system in Nairobi, most Kibera residents use Buses, often called Citi Hoppas, and Matatus to reach city centre. However, riding the Matatus proves to be considerably dangerous, due to the high levels of violent crime in Nairobi. Irresponsible driving in the area also makes travel perilous.
Kibera is heavily polluted by soot, open sewage routes, human and animal feces and dust. The combination of poor nutrition and lack of sanitation accounts for many illnesses. Not only is death by disease and conflict common inside this slum, but it is estimated that 1/5 of the 2.2 million Kenyans living with HIV live in Kibera.
Kibera is featured in Fernando Meirelles's film The Constant Gardener, which is based on the book of the same name by John Le Carré and is also mentioned in the music video World On Fire by Sarah McLachlan, which profiled the work of Carolina for Kibera, a grassroots organization named a Hero of Global Health in 2005 by Time Magazine.
Your money goes directly into the various projects and initiatives within the Kibera Community Project and Oasis Africa Kibera School. For the children at school it will be spent on providing education, clothing, food supplements (breakfast & lunch), health care through a trained doctor, teachers, headmaster, classrooms and all classroom materials (tables, chairs, text books, stationery), teacher training, cooks and cooking equipment, maintenance and security personnel for every child attending the school as a whole. We also provide capacity building (micro-enterprise projects) for parents and/or caregivers of these children . If your child continues past primary school level, your sponsorship payments will support the higher education fees and all necessary equipment.
All Oasis Africa Australia Fundraising is Authorised Under Section 16 of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 - Office of Charities, NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing - NSW State Government, Australia.
Oasis Africa Australia works to ensure that all donated money is directed towards the Kibera Community Project and Oasis Africa Kibera School. Oasis Africa Australia has a dedicated supporter who assists by funding the administration and other managerial requirements necessary to ensure the successful running of these programs.
If you have undertaken a Child Sponsorship with a recurring payment method via a credit card or direct debit from your bank account, this document outlines our service commitment to you, in respect of the Direct Debit Request (DDR) arrangements made between Oasis Africa Australia and you. It sets out your rights, our commitment to you and your responsibilities to us together with where you should go for assistance.
How to Contact Us
Direct all enquiries to us, rather than to your financial institution. These should be made at least 7 working days prior to the next scheduled drawing date. You may contact us as follows:
Phone: 0413 587 577
Mail: GPO Box 1991 BRISBANE QLD 4001
All communication addressed to us should include your Sponsor and/or Child Number.
Our commitment to you
Initial terms of the arrangementIn terms of the Direct Debit Request arrangements made between us and signed by you, we undertake to periodically debit your nominated account for the agreed amount.
• The first drawing under this Direct Debit arrangement will occur on the date nominated on the Direct Debit Request.
• If any drawing falls due on a non-business day, it will be debited to your account on the next business day following the scheduled drawing date.
• We will give you at least 14 days notice in writing, by email or by phone when changes to the initial terms of the arrangement are made. This notice will state the new amount, frequency, next drawing date and any other changes to the initial terms.
• If you wish to discuss any changes to the initial terms, please contact us.
Your rightsChanges to the arrangementIf you want to make changes to the drawing arrangements, contact us. These changes may include:
• deferring the drawing; or
• altering the schedule; or
• stopping an individual debit; or
• suspending the DDR; or
• canceling the DDR completely.ConfidentialityAll personal customer information held by us will be kept confidential except that information provided to our financial institution to initiate the drawing to your nominated account.Disputes
• If you believe that a drawing has been initiated incorrectly, we encourage you to take the matter up directly by contacting us.
• If you do not receive a satisfactory response from us to your dispute, contact your financial institution who will respond to you with an answer to your claim:
within 5 business days (for claims lodged within 12 months of the disputed drawing); or
within 30 business days (for claims lodged more than 12 months after the disputed drawing)
• You will receive a refund of the drawing amount if we can not substantiate the reason for the drawing.Note: Your financial institution will ask you to contact us to resolve your disputed drawing prior to involving them.
Your commitment to us
It is your responsibility to ensure that:
• your nominated account can accept direct debits (your financial institution can confirm this); and
• that on the drawing date there are sufficient cleared funds in the nominated account; and • that you advise us if the nominated account is transferred or closed.
• you advise us if your credit card expiry date is due to be renewedIf your drawing is returned or dishonoured by your financial institution, we may re-draw on your account after four (4) business days, or contact you to arrange alternate payment. Any transaction fees payable by us in respect of the above may be added to your account.
Oasis Africa Australia works with Josiah Munyutu - the principal of the Oasis Africa Kibera School & our in-country Oasis Africa Australia Project Manager, to ensure that all financial and operational support is provided to facilitate the implementation of its initiatives. We have a designated Liaison Project Manager on the ground managing the project, reporting back to the Australian team and working closely with the headmaster. Regular reports are submitted to the team in Australia outlining progress of the children and updating of child profile details, current projects underway, status of development of new projects and all financial matters to maintain clear accountability of fund use.
10. How does Oasis Africa Australia work against corruption which is reported in many developing countries?
Accountability and transperancy of all financial transactions is critical to the success of the Kibera Community Project. Oasis Africa Australia has an internal accountant that ensures consistency and accountability of all expenses and are externally audited every year. We are led by strict codes of conduct and ethical practice.
All Oasis Africa Australia Fundraising is Authorised Under Section 16 of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 - Office of Charities, NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing - NSW State Government, Australia.
Yes, each sponsored child is allocated only one donor.
At the end of each school year you will be sent the school results and other relevant updates of your sponsor child.
Yes we encourage you to sponsor as many children as viably possible. Many parents will tend to sponsor the same number of children as their own children. It is important to understand that ongoing support is critical to future of the children and financial consideration should be taken into account when sponsoring multiple children.
We encourage that you sponsor your child until the completion of their education. This will allow consistent financial support to all of the children in the school. Once they leave school, we can assist in providing a new sponsor child for you, or you can continue to support your child through Secondary School, if they gain the marks to attend.
Due to the difficulty of sending mail to Kibera, we have set up an email letter from the website for sponsors to correspond with their sponsor child. These emails are received by the Liasion Project Manager in Kenya to be distributed to the children at Oasis Africa Kibera School. To write your child a letter, please click here. You will be asked to login before writing your child a letter, so please have your Oasis Africa sponsor username and password handy.
Your child likes to hear encouraging words and learn about where you are from. Letters can include details of your family, the food you enjoy, aspects of your country (e.g. animals, the town you live in and weather) and words of praise about their progress at school. Life in Kibera is very different to Western society and lifestyles, so please show discretion when addressing materialistic or monetary matters.
As not all children have sponsors or recieve separate gifts from their sponsors, if you are traveling to Nairobi it is recommended to organise gifts that can be used by all the children of Oasis Africa Kibera School. Popular gifts include skipping ropes, various size playing balls, children's book and/or children paints. Due to the problems with postage, please only organise gifts if you visiting your sponsor child in Nairobi on an approved organised visit. A great way to arrange a group gift to the school (of which your child will benefit), is to make a donation via the 'Donations, Gifts & Tickets' page on the website. This way, the Oasis Africa representative, in conjunction with the headmaster can work out the most appropriate and needy gift. Purchasing this locally will also help to re-invest funds directly back into the community. To make a donation, please click here
With no government hospitals or clinics in Kibera, most of the children in Kibera do not have official birth certificates. With many children living with one or no parents, details like spelling of name and age are very difficult to accurately determine. As a result, occassionally changes of name, age and family members are adjusted as more accurate information is received.
Sponsor children can leave the school due to various reasons including: leaving the area, change to another school and/or advancing to higher education. As all the finances from your sponsorship is invested into the Oasis Africa Kibera School and the community of Kibera, sponsorship for this particular child will cease. When this occurs we will inform of any known details and organise another child for you to support and sponsor.
Yes, pending approval (both Police Security and internal viability) it is possible to visit your child at Oasis Africa Kibera School. All visits need to co-incide with the school term: Jan (second week) - End of March, May - End of July, September - November (third week). Please notify us of your intentions to visit your child via the contact us form on this website at least 6-8 weeks in advance of your travel date.
At least 6-8 weeks is required to organise your visit. It is important to understand that visits will not be approved until completion of a Police Security report and confirmation with the office at Oasis Africa Kenya. Please notify us of your intentions to visit your child via the contact us form on this website at least 6-8 weeks in advance of your travel date.
As soon as you are aware of your intentions to travel to see you sponsor child in Kibera, Nairobi (Kenya) please contact Oasis Africa Australia administration so they can send you an information sheet which outlines all necessary procedures necessary before having your visit approved.
A visit to see your child and the Oasis Africa Kibera School will usually take 2-3 hours. During this time you will be able to interact with various classes at the school, see the various project initiatives and play with the children. The Kenyan based Oasis Africa Australia Project Manager will accompany you throughout the entire visit.
Most countries (including Australia) require a Visa to enter Kenya. 3 month single entry Visa's can be arranged for Kenya on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for US$50. As VISA costs and conditions can regularly change, it is advised to gain the latest advise from your countries local Kenyan High Commission/Consulate before departure.
It is strongly advisable to see a travel doctor at least three months before your departure. Travelling to Africa will require you to be vaccinated against various diseases and parasites known in Africa. A good reference point for current requirements can be found on the TMVC website
On arrival at Nairobi you can contact the Oasis Africa Australia Liaison Project Manager, who will confirm your pick up and all other arrangements for your visit to see your sponsor child. This will be pre-arranged with you prior to your departure.
The local Oasis Africa Australia Liaison Project Manager will assist you throughout your stay. They will organise to pick you up from your accommodation and accompany you out to visit your sponsor child and all the children at Oasis Africa Kibera School.
You will need to organise your own accommodation in Nairobi. Nairobi has a variety of accommodation options varying from backpackers/hostels to 5 star hotels.
As not all children have sponsors or receive seperate gifts from their sponsors, if you are travelling to Nairobi it is recommended to organise gifts that can be used by all the children of Oasis Africa Australia Kibera School. Popular gifts include skipping ropes, various size playing balls, children's book and/or children paints. Due to the problems with posting, please only organise gifts if you visiting your sponsor child in Nairobi on an approved organised visit.
It is important to provide consistent payments. If you cannot make a payment it is important to advise the Oasis Africa Australia office immediately so that they can put a delay on your payment.
Please contact Karen at the Oasis Africa Australia office on 0413 587 577, or via the Contact Us form.
When you registered for sponsoring your Child, you would have been asked to select a password. You also will have been provided your Sponsor ID along with confirmation of your password in your Welcome Letter sent to you after Sponsoring your Child. With your Sponsor ID and password you can log on the see your account details on the website, through the 'My Child' section. You are able to update your contact, address, username and password details here. This page is protected by SSL security.
International Media - Essential Reading relating to the African HIV/AIDS crisis, it's origins, the effects, it's victims - including the women and children being cared for by Oasis Africa in Kibera slum - and practical steps for immediate action.
"Race Against Time" is essential reading by a globally acknowledged humanitarian who leads from the front demanding action. Stephen Lewis - named by Time 2005 as one of the most 100 influential people in the world has devoted to the millions of Africans needlessly suffering. We intend bringing Stephen to Australia to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, his brilliant book / lecture series, the pitiful plight of the children of Kibera slum and how you can take action to help - now!
Race Against TimeNovember 15, 2005House of Anansi Press (Toronto), by House of Anansi Press (available at Dymocks in Australia)
"I have spent the last four years watching people die.
With these wrenching words, diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his 2005 Massey Lectures.
Lewis's determination to bear witness to the desperate plight of so many in Africa and elsewhere is balanced by his unique, personal, and often searing insider's perspective on our ongoing failure to help.
Stephen Lewis recounts how, in 2000, the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York introduced eight Millennium Development Goals, which focused on fundamental issues such as education, health, and cutting poverty in half by 2015. In audacious prose, alive with anecdotes ranging from maddening to hilarious to heartbreaking, Lewis shows why and how the international community is falling desperately short of these goals.
In Race Against Time, Stephen Lewis probes the appalling gap between vision and current reality. But he also offers bracingly attainable solutions to help us avoid what will otherwise be a terrible stain on the record of human achievement in the twenty-first century.
"I would like to throttle . . . those who've waited so unendurably long to act, those who can find infinite resources for war but never sufficient resources to ameliorate the human condition." - Stephen Lewis
Stephen Lewis is the United Nations' Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. He has extensive experience as a politician, diplomat, and humanitarian, and in particular is a passionate advocate for the rights and needs of children.
Stephen Lewis has been awarded the Pearson Peace Medal and was named by Maclean's in 2003 as inaugural Canadian of the Year and by Time in 2005 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Stephen Lewis lives in Toronto.
For more information about, and to support the battle against HIV/Aids in Africa, visit the Stephen Lewis Foundation web site: www.stephenlewisfoundation.orgCopyright © 2005 House of Anansi Press. All rights reserved.
A set of 5 Audio CDs of CBC's Ideas broadcast lectures of Race Against Time can be purchased from Anansi.ca. They were produced by CBC Audio. For information on how to purchase the book of the lecture series from House of Anansi visit their website.