The Oasis Game
The Oasis game is a social technology developed by Instituto Elos in Brazil. It has been played more than 500 times, in 40 countries, on four continents. It is the product of over 25 years of experience and reflection in community development and transformation.
Through a 7 step process a community design a project of their collective dreams, gather the materials and make it happen in only 7 days.
Here is an example of an Oasis Game with Vila Dos Criadores community in Brazil:
Vila Dos Criadores Community, Brazil
Community organising and the practical realisation of a common dream.
Our journey through the 7 steps of the Oasis Game: Gaze, Affection, Dream, Care, Miracle, Celebration, Reevolution
First we connected with the community through our different senses, observing the area, looking for possibilities, seeing the beauty and seeking abundance. In this step we also identified resources that were in abundance in the community.
The next step is to listen to the hearts of the people behind the beautiful things we saw. We met and talked with local people, truly connecting heart to heart and discovering the talents of the community.
Mobilising the community
The first act of mobilising the community is for the talent show. A flag is made and we go out into the community to invite all the people we have developed relationsips with over the first two days of the Oasis Game, will anyone turn up?!
The talent show galvanises the community in celebration of their diverse talents. It is also a great opportunity to start gathering peoples’ dreams and get an idea of what this community might want to build together.
Collecting the dreams of the community
What is their vision for the future? What are the needs of the community and what project would meet those needs? What are peoples’ core values and what kind of project would best represent this?
Model building collective dreams
After harvesting the dreams of the community, models are made of the projects that resonate with the community the most.
Model building collective dreams
The projects of the different models are synthesied into one model that reflects the collective dreams of the community. This is the first experience of successfull collaboration in a project that everyone agrees on.
The community decided on the following project: community garden, meeting place, playground, creche/nursery and market. The next step is to gather the people, resources and tools necessary to bring this model to life.
The Care stage of the Oasis Game involves inviting members of the community, local businesses, friends, family and anyone interested in the project to donate materials, tools and finances that will help the realisation of the collective dream. It is also the moment to make sure everyone who has a talent is invited to the hands-on day to bring the dream into reality.
Now it is time for the Miracle, it has this name because the project may seem impossible to many in the community. During the hands-on days many people have a shift in their perspective on what they sense to be possible both as a group working together and individually in terms of their own personal potential. Seeing the group click and flow together in collaborative action is a wonderful part of the process.
What an incredible accomplishment, time to celebrate!
Now that the community have seen what is possible, expanded their sense of potential, experienced the transformative effect of realising collective dreams through participatory processes: the questions arise: What else is possible? What other dreams do we have that we feel inspired to work towards? If this was possible to achieve in one week, what might be possible to achieve in 3 months, 6 months, one year? Who in the community feels drawn to take responsibility to move each of these projects forward?
Transformation, community, human potential and learning
Warriors Without Weapons
“The seed of transformation sprouts in relationships and in the sharing of dreams that flow through the recognition of abundance and the valuing of power of each individual. The manifestion is in collective actions that nourish the beauty, joy, and pleasure of realising the best possible world for all people.”
The Elos Philosphy
“I came to know Warriors Without Weapons [which has the Oasis Game at it’s centre], a program for youth that restores degraded areas, always with the involvement of the community. Because the most important thing is to transform the community.”
Author, physicist and systems theorist
“Inherent within the notion of human potential is the belief that in reaching their full potential an individual will be able to lead a happy and more fulfilled life.”
“Nobody educates anyone, nobody educates themself, human beings educate each other, mediated by the world.”
Pedagogia do Oprimido
Elos Foundation and Warriors Without Weapons
The GSA Circle 2022 is comprised of the Elos Foundation and a group of 20 Warriors Without Weapons from six countries, together they are facilitating the Oasis Game in Lanquedoc (South Africa).
The Oasis Game is a methodology designed by Elos Institute in Brazil that has already reached hundreds of communities from all over the world. The game is designed to support a community process of cooperatively building ambitious projects that are based on the needs of the residents.
Daniel Sheinwald (UK), Daniella Dolme (Brazil), Lorraine Muwuya (Zimbabwe), Stephen Diwauripo (Zimbabwe), Admire Yemurai (Zimbabwe), Juliana Guerreiro (Brazil), Rafael Britto (Brazil), Areen Attari (Índia), Natália Dittmar (Brazil), Ayanda Nyoka (South Africa), Bruna Bellandi (Brasil), Jamerson Mancio (Brazil), Ronaldo Pereira (Brasil), Priscilla Pereira (Brazil), Irvine Muzuva (Zimbabwe), Tshediso Phahlane (South África), Archana Tomar (Índia), Mirian Fonseca (Brazil), Steven Arana (Costa Rica), Nombulelo Ngwenya (South Africa)
The Oasis Game is a 7 step methodology developed over 25 years of experience and reflection in community development and transformation
Donate to future Oasis Games
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What we appreciate more than anything is your contribution and gesture of support to this community process. If you are able to send £5/$5/€5, it will carry with it a lot more energy than its financial value alone! Click the button to make a donation, it will be much appreciated.