A shot at a better life through sport

Pictured are Oasis Reach For Your Dreams programme facilitators Dillon Fletcher, Lynne Damons and founder Clifford Martinus at the organisation’s base in Schaapkraal. Picture: Fuad Esack

Oasis Reach For Your Dreams, based in Schaapkraal, held a family day at the weekend as part of its year-of-the family theme.

Oasis is a registered NGO founded in 2000 and uses soccer, street football, netball and other recreational activities as a medium to create alternative opportunities for the homeless, recovering drug addicts and youth-at-risk from various communities across the city, including Phumlani, Lotus River, Parkwood, Gugulethu, New Crossroads and Ottery.

Founder Clifford Martinus, who has been at the helm for 23 years, said the organisation provides accommodation to around 100 people who have either lived on the streets or have been abusing substances for many years.

“We do not operate as a shelter nor an institution or a drug rehabilitation facility. However, we do see people getting better as they stay on at this Oasis and seek to better themselves.

“Oasis is also the official Homeless WC organiser for South Africa and works directly with the Homeless World Cup office in Scotland. Each year (this is the first after Covid-19) a team gets selected and offers a once in a lifetime international opportunity for a person to represent both him or herself and the extended family and community,” he said.

This year’s Homeless World Cup will be held in Sacramento, California in America, in July, and already work has begun to put a team together.

“Through our street football initiatives across Cape Town and the Western Cape, we identify committed participants and then offer this opportunity for trials which in this case, takes place on Sunday March 19, where we will be supported by an English delegation from the Professional Footballers Association (PFA).

“The PFA has been very supportive over the last many years. We have had great support also from the Western Cape MEC (for cultural affairs and sport) Anroux Marais and her office as well previously supported by MEC Sharna Fernandez at Social Development and also support from the City of Cape Town,” he said.

For more information, visit www.oasisplace.co.za or call 082 945 4812.