The Oasis Association recycling station off Imam Haron Road in Claremont is not only working to save the planet but to uplift and empower people with intellectual disabilities. This recycling hub is part of a larger NPO that was founded in 1952.

Oasis started out as a school for children with special needs who were excluded from mainstream education. As the children got older, the problem of “where to next?” became glaringly apparent with failed attempts to enter the formal working world. As a result, the Oasis Association was formed, to help these kids smoothly transition from school into a job.

The Oasis Association has its head office in Claremont, which is also the Oasis Recycling centre. This is a much-loved place for residents of the area to drop off their household recycling. When you drive in, you are greeted by an array of happy faces. The Oasis recycling team are an incredible group of people who are always eager to help.

The recycling hub provides those with intellectual disabilities, ranging from mild, severe or profound, with the opportunity to earn a sustainable income. Since its inception, Oasis Recycling has created jobs for thousands of people.

Oasis Recycling also provides a free recycling collection service for businesses wanting to go green, as well as a document-shredding service.

For those individuals, from children to adults, with severe intellectual disabilities and little chance of finding employment in the formal job market there is the Oasis Protective Workshops based in Elsies River. With over 370 employees currently, these workshops offer a safe and protective place for employment as well as continuous education and training. Occupational therapy is done, and transport to and from the workshops is provided. An income is earned and a sense of self-worth is created. It provides structure and companionship to their lives.

In Pinelands and at the Claremont recycling centre there is a “Bric-a-Brack” shop containing pre-loved goods. You can find all sorts of treasures here. If there was ever an excuse to go shopping, it would be this. There is also a Tea Garden at the Claremont site, where you can relax and enjoy delicious and freshly baked goods, all made by members of the Oasis team.

Through the recycling project, out-sourced business services, the bakery, tea room and second-hand shops Oasis ensures long-term, sustainable employment.

If you’re looking to make your home more sustainable, for a nifty new thrift store or to try some delicious treats, pay Oasis Association a visit.

Image: Oasis Association / Recycling Project

Article written by

Imogen Searra