In March 2020, as COVID 19 was declared a global pandemic, the spread of this virus had a profound impact on our lives, including suffering and death. Locally, people lost jobs and incomes, and for at least 6 months children could no longer attend schools for face-to-face learning. Stress and anxiety have plagued many people, especially the poor, the elderly, and those who are vulnerable.
NOC closed its 6 learning centers in Beaufort County in mid-March 2020. Later, under challenging conditions, NOC re-opened 4 of its centers for a 6-week summer program, giving children an avenue to engage in learning and social interaction. Over the past six months, children (“NOC Heroes”) in NOC’s education program have eagerly participated in its after-school program, wearing masks, social distancing, using hand sanitizers, and adopting other recommended hygiene practices. This way of life has now become routine for these children who are adjusting and striving to move ahead without complaints.
There is hope on the horizon as more and more people are vaccinated and as we edge toward some degree of normalcy. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Narendra P. Sharma, Founder & Chair, NOC