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Oasis Workshop
PO Box 44, Beit Sahour, West Bank, Palestine | Telefax: (+972) 02-277-2277 | Fax: (+972) 02-277-5567 | theoasis@palnet.com
 

Products: Recycled-paper cards, silk-screened baby onesies
Beneficiaries: 19 women and men with intellectual disabilities from villages and refugee camps in the Bethlehem area.
 

Oasis is a handicrafts workshop in the village of Beit Sahour.  It is among a small number of income-generating projects in the Bethlehem area that provide an opportunity for adults with intellectural disabilities to work meaningfully and productively, and to integrate people with disabilities into the Palestinian society.  It was founded in 1998 as a project of the Union of Health Work Committees in the spirit of the International Communities of L'Arche, and operates in cooperation with the German Organization for the Disabled.

24 adults with intellectural disabilities from cities, villages and refugee camps in the area are currently enrolled in Oasis, run by the dedicated staff of seven people.  Their daily program consists of relaxation through music and dancing, discussion to share each other's life, production of recycled paper and gifts, and lunch.  The program provides much-needed social opportunities for the people who are often stigmatized and shunned by society. 

Oasis produces recycled paper products, including greeting cards, bags, journals and bookmarks.  Products are adorned with sands and dried flowers from the hills of Palestine, depicting natural landscapes and Biblical scenes from the Holy Land. 

In 2014, Sunbula's designer trained the Oasis in hand silk-screen technique, and helped expanding their product line by creating a collection of baby onesies.  The garments are procured from one of the few surviving textile factories in Bethlehem.

By coming to Oasis the lives of our members transform positively, as they used to spend their days idly at home, having nowhere to go, nothing to do.  Now they participate in the meaningful activities and have social opportunities.  It also lightens the immense burden of the families who have to care for them.