|Interviews in the U.S. October 16-20|
Steve Chalke (MBE, UN Special Advisor on Community Action against Human Trafficking) is a prominent social activist based in the UK, as well as an ordained Baptist minister. He is best known as the founder of Oasis Trust. He is the author of numerous books and articles as well as a regular presenter and contributor on television and radio programmes. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to social inclusion.
Steve was born in South London in 1955. As a teenager he decided to spend his life working to end poverty and specifically to set up housing, healthcare and educational projects to that end. After graduating from Spurgeon's College in 1981 he spent four years as assistant minister at Tonbridge Baptist Church, in Kent, before setting up Oasis Trust in 1985.
Over the last 24 years Oasis has developed into a family of charities now working on five continents and 11 countries around the world, to deliver housing, education, training, youthwork and healthcare. Oasis is now a significant voluntary sector provider, delivering services for local authorities and national governments, as well as self funded initiatives aimed at providing opportunity to people across the globe.
From its early days Oasis has been involved in the provision of education not only in the UK but also in South America, Asia and Africa. As a development of this, in 2004 Chalke set up Oasis Community Learning as part of the Oasis Group of charities, in order to deliver secondary education through the government’s Academies programme.
Three Oasis Academies, in Enfield Lock, Grimsby and Immingham, opened in September 2007, with six more in Southampton (x2), Bristol (x2), Salford and Croydon in September 2008. Other projects are planned for future years. Oasis Academies have been established to provide a rich and balanced educational environment catering for the whole person - academically, vocationally, socially, morally, spiritually, physically, emotionally and environmentally.
The goal of every Oasis academy is to serve its students as well as to provide a life-long learning hub for the entire surrounding community, including an array of facilities such as adult learning courses, community workers, fitness suites, healthy living programmes, sports courts and a wide range of out-of-hours youth activities.
Oasis Academies benefit from the depth and breadth of educational, healthcare, youth work and community experience and resources within the wider Oasis family, as well as from being part of Oasis global family of schools and, more specifically, of its Academies in the UK. All Oasis Academies share in a common purpose, ethos and set of values.
World Record Holder
In 2005 Steve became the official holder of the Guinness World Record for the largest amount of sponsorship money ever raised by an individual through a single event. He broke this record by raising £1.25 million for Oasis' work with schools in disadvantaged communities, through running the London Marathon. His record was beaten at the following year's marathon by Sir Steve Redgrave, who officially raised over £1.785 million. However in 2007 Chalke recaptured his title, as well as becoming the fastest money-generating sports person in history, by raising over £1.855 million in 3 hours 58 minutes 40 seconds.
Chalke is the Chair of Stop the Traffik, a global coalition of over 2000 charities in 60 countries that is working to stop the buying and selling of people. Steve was appointed Special Advisor on Community Action to the UN GIFT, following STOP THE TRAFFIK’S delivery of 1.5 million signatures in support of a global declaration against human trafficking at a UN conference in Vienna in February 2008. In March 09 Chalke co-authored a book with Cherie Blair looking at the world-wide issue of people trafficking and our response to it.