We don’t want the world to stay the same!

Like other people in the world, migrating from the countryside to the city, Sandra arrived at the «El Paraíso” neighborhood in the suburbs of Ciudad Bolivar with her family. It is a neighborhood at the top of a hill, without basic services, and with no means of communication or transport.

At the age of nine, Sandra became a delegate at her school, defending the rights of students and the interests of the school with local and municipal bodies. “I won a place as a girl and as a poor person. I discovered a vocation of service. When I talked, others listened to me. I have visited many places and met a lot of people. I have been helped with my transport and my food. I would never have been able to do this alone.”

One day, Sandra met an old lady who sold sweets outside the school. Then she stopped coming, and  nobody had any news. Sandra discovered that the lady had died of hunger, alone in her house. This event deeply affected her: “I believe that the Oasis Foundation was born at that moment, when I realized that someone could die of hunger, alone, right next to me.”

Sandra then went in search of the elderly of her neighborhood who were isolated and living in poverty and invited them into her home. She cooked for them and offered them a place to meet. But her generosity affected the family financially, and they could no longer cope. Sandra therefore began to ask for help from her friends, who mobilized support. Her commitment also touched other people, who backed her activities financially. They bought a field and built a house with the support of neighbors. Workers gave small quantities of bricks. This then became the home of the community, a meeting place for developing solidarity, social links, and breaking down barriers.

“Today, because of Covid-19, millions of people are  confined. But in the neighborhood, the elderly are selling in the street and must continue to work, and children are more exposed to the distress of their parents. With the Foundation we have distributed food, but this alone is not enough. This situation reveals to the world the social injustice whose victims are the poor, an injustice that we have become accustomed to in a selfish and competitive system. The worst thing that could happen to us is that the world stays the same!”

Sandra S., Oasis Foundation, Colombia