Official Website of China's Oasis
In 1992, David Gotts visited a Chinese welfare centre and was shocked by the condition of the children. He was just 22.
International China Concern (ICC) was born that day, as he held a dying baby in his arms. They called her Rose.
This moving story spans twenty-five years of caring for abandoned children with disabilities in China. It is a story of a young man who demonstrated that every single life matters; even that of the fragile, disabled, seemingly insignificant children themselves, who will capture your heart from the very first pages.
The book tells the story of the rapidly developing Chinese economy as seen from the grassroots. Since the opening of Oasis House in 1997, not only have the conditions, buildings, facilities and management been greatly upgraded, but attitudes towards disability have changed dramatically. ICC was the first foreign organisation to partner with the Chinese welfare system has been at the forefront of this incredible and ongoing reform.
David Gotts founded ICC in 1993 and led it to become an organisation that oversees seven offices and more than 350 staff across the globe. He now serves as Founder; providing strategic leadership to ICC's work and challenging those, both inside and outside of the organisation, to respond to the opportunities that exist to bring transformation to those in need.
He is an inspiring speaker and leader, in both English and Chinese. David regularly travels to China from Vancouver where he lives with his family.
Richard Harris was Chairman of ICC from 2008-2011. He served on the Board for nearly ten years and supported David’s work from the very beginning. He has lived in Asia for 50 years.
His 35-year professional career is an investment manager, business TV commentator, expert witness, radio presenter, and weekly columnist for the South China Morning Post. He is married with two adult daughters; one working for a NGO in Hong Kong and the other for an investment manager in Europe.
China Oasis is the story of how ICC started, was built, and how it survived many challenges to become one of the longest-serving and sustainable NGO's in China today.
The Girl on the Cover
We first met a confident little boy, Yang Hua, in 2006 when we went to visit the Hengyang Welfare Centre as it was then (see first picture). The weather was springlike, muggy; and everything was wet.
Where the kids lived was an old four sided village house surrounded by there old buildings and a lot of broken concrete. This little boy came up to me and wouldn't let go, just wanting love and some human contact. We thought a lot about that little boy after we left on that trip - but he disappeared.
It was not unusual for kids to disappear from a welfare centre by running away, being taken elsewhere without our knowledge, or even (perish the thought) passing away from some undiagnosed illness. A year later, my daughter Chloe found him. In the girls room.
That bouncing little boy, who had been abandoned at eight by a single dad who found it too much to look after a child with learning difficulties - was in fact a girl!
You can see the change in her in the pictures - click on each one. We have sponsored her ever since and her progress has adorned our refrigerator for more than a decade. She is in many ways part of our family.
You too can sponsor an ICC child through the Hand-In-Hand project. You will receive regular updates on your sponsored child and they will receive your picture and letters too. The kids all know that there is someone out there who cares just a little bit.. It makes a difference.
The Story continues...
Since the book was written, ICC has moved on, kids have been adopted, people have left - and arrived! China continues to change and develop at a rapid pace.
Click along this section to see updates since the book. We hope to make the book more alive for you by giving you lots of back stories and photographs to fill in the gaps. We hope that it will make the story more alive for you.
You can also catch up on the latest news about ICC on their website.
The Children's Building at the Hengyang Welfare Centre which opened in 2015. Inspired and run by ICC.
Baby being treated in Welfare Centre
First trip to Nanning 1992
Hope House 1998
ICC's first school 1999..
Living Stones Village
- to the most vulnerable.
“The book you hold in your hands represents the work, sacrifice and love of hundreds of people over the past twenty-five years.
Led and inspired by Dave Gotts, they came from around the world to share their passion and compassion with children in China. It is a testament to God’s love, exhibited through so many lives, in so many ways.
As International China Concern embarks on its second quarter-century of providing love, hope, and opportunity to children with disabilities, we reflect on the accomplishments of the past while looking forward and relying on God’s guidance
for the future."
International China Concern