NOC Founder and Chair, Dr. Narendra P. Sharma, gave a keynote presentation at a workshop attended by representatives from 15 South Carolina foundations at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry on October 24, 2014. Dr. Sharma’s talk focused on the NOC model as an example of how individuals, families, and communities can be empowered to achieve independence, self-reliance, and dignity.
Earlier in the workshop, participants had reflected on Robert Lupton’s recent book, Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help and How to Reverse It. Dr. Sharma pointed out NOC’s comparative advantages in addressing the needs of underserved groups, in particular:
- Ensuring a strong presence in target neighborhoods and making connections with families by establishing program centers in these neighborhoods.
- Listening and building relationships and trusts with people in the neighborhoods; and involving them in finding solutions.
- Focusing on empowerment (“teaching people how to fish”) through human capital development.
- Partnering with the local schools and service providers, and bringing their services into the neighborhoods.
- Bringing teachers, high school tutors, and volunteers into NOC’s neighborhood program centers.
- Providing technology-based learning in target neighborhoods.
- Focusing on results and impact, while keeping costs low (<$1,200 per child annually).
View Dr. Sharma’s presentation: Community Foundation Presentation Oct 24, 2014