What is the common bond that a poor woman in rural India kick starting her own small-scale busi- ness, a street -child growing up to be an executive, and a physically disabled trying to attend classes with
crutches have? These are only a handful of the success stories among the many that Share and Care Foundation
(SCF) has created in the past 32 years.
SCF is a leading US based humanitarian organization
fighting poverty in rural India. “As SCF celebrates yet
another year of supporting sustainable social and economic development, we like to share this moment with you,” an
SCF spokesperson said. SCF’s milestones bear testimony
to the success of the efforts at showing the concerns and
compassion of a vibrant expatriate community for the disadvantaged in India.
It all started in 1982 with the simple thought of “giving
back to our motherland,” and over the years SCF mission
has grown rapidly to tackle new and emerging issues and
SCF volunteers have adapted themselves to the changing
times. The mission has emerged from a strong belief that
women and children are the vulnerable sections of the
rural population that need the most empowerment. At the
same time, SCF has repeatedly rushed to provide emergency relief aids to the survivors of natural disasters to
help rebuild their lives.
Drawing strength from diversity, resources and experience, SCF promotes innovative solutions that are well
researched, practical and fit in the local environment. SCF
takes pride in:
* Strengthening capacity for self-help
* Educating and providing economic opportunities
* Energizing and inspiring people to make a difference.
Scientifically measuring, communicating, and learning from the impact of our efforts and combining it with
volunteerism, low operating cost, and assistance from a
highly professional group of executives.
At SCF, volunteers feel that every human being possess-es talent and a capacity to learn specific skills and earn a
good livelihood. Unfortunately, not everyone has the
opportunity or access to facilities that would help them
reach their full potential and overcome difficulties. “Our
dream is to support such talent and give them an opportunity to live with dignity and a better tomorrow for themselves, their children and community,” the spokesperson
Many of us owe our rich and promising fortunes to
numerous non-profitable schools, colleges and hospitals
back home and hence let us pledge today to create the
same opportunities for the next generations in India. The
best legacy one can leave behind is a generous spirit of
sharing and caring.
HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT TRUST
There are numerous brilliant children in rural parts of
India, who have secured more than 70 percent marks by
studying under street lights and at night schools.
However, their journeys are cut short due to lack of
financial resources. SCF’s partner Higher Education
Support Trust (HEST) and Sister Nivedita Trust - caters to
this vital need.
Since 2006, SCF has been able to support 825 students.
However, SCF had a goal to reach out to 1,000 students
this year, but could not do so because of lack of funds.
Currently, the scholars SCF supports belong to homes with
a yearly income of $1,000 or less. Despite their challenges,
they have managed to stay focussed on their studies and
topped at the college level.
WHY DOES THIS NEED TO BE ADDRESSED?
Every year more than 500,000 students take the high
school exam in the fields of science, commerce and arts.
Presently SCF’s focus is on the science stream, because the
courses for science students - Medicine, Engineering are
extremely expensive. About 90,000 students take the
Gujarat Board Exams, of which 25,000 (27%) students
pass with distinction. Studies suggests that approximately
4 percent of these students and their parents have an
annual income of less than $1,000 per year. Therefore,
every year about 1,000 talented and hard-working students are unable to go to college though they secure admissions in the science stream. In 2013, after high school
results were declared, SCF asked a large number of schools
to identify their brilliant, but needy students. SCF got
numerous applications but unfortunately, was unable to
accommodate everyone and had to raise the eligibility bar
by 5 percent to 75 percent. Because of the constraints of
funds and a commitment of four years of studies, SCF
could accept only 125 new students!
INSPIRE CHANGE - EMPOWER WOMEN CAMPAIGN:
Around the world, 64 million girls are out of school. In
rural India, only 5 percent will graduate high school.
“Gowramma, a 45 years old widow, lives in a dilapidated house in a small village in Karnataka’s Dharwad district.
She walks around bare feet as she broke the only pair of
slippers she owned. Her dim cataract-infected eyes well up
with tears, as she relates her life story. Each line on her face
and grey strands of hair tell a story of deprivation, rejec-
tion, and cruelty in the face of adversity. No future, no
opportunity, or sustenance - does she deserve this? Should
her children and grandchildren follow the same path?”
Despite the extraordinary progress being made in India,
more than half the girls drop out of school before grade 10
and 75 percent are married while still under-age. Girls with
little or no education are far more likely to be married as
children, suffer domestic violence, live in poverty, and lack
a voice over household spending or their own healthcare
than better-educated peers. This harms them, their children, and communities, a new report by the World Bank
SCF has approached its development efforts with a special focus to ensure that girls and women receive quality
education and skills training, providing livelihood that
lead to financial independence.
WHAT WE DO
In our everyday life we take a lot of things such as food,
water, electricity, education etc. for granted, but little do
we realize that, despite all the development efforts, there
are still rural areas in India where such things are a luxury. Through SCF, donors are able to connect with a wide
array of nonprofit groups to work within a variety of fields.
All of them have a proven track record and have made a
great impact in their communities. SCF doesn’t believe in
bandaging the problems of rural people by offering a
chance to adopt an orphan or provide a hand out to a NGO.
“We strongly believe in the old adage it takes a village to
raise a child,” says the spokesperson. SCF’s value system
dictates the local communities and NGO partners to be self
reliant in three to five years after receiving our grants. SCF
volunteers feel that empowering and making them responsible is the ultimate solution.
VISION FOR 2014
In 2014, SCF began with a new purpose and a new
vision, attempting to integrate sustainable rural empowerment programs in areas where the needs are greatest. SCF
has established an incredible network of closely monitored
organizations dedicated to the goal of empowering rural
areas. The volunteers measure, evaluate and assess the
progress of each program. Success of each initiative will
enable SCF to replicate it in other areas.
However, SCF cannot do this alone and invites donors
to become a part of this process to realize some of their
own dreams. During these challenging economic times,
non-profit organizations greatly rely on the support from
SCF Board ensures that charitable donations are managed properly with donors’ best interests in mind while
promoting transparency in all activities. It is also SCF’s
desire to show compassion and to respond to pressing
needs by innovation that would allow SCF to provide better and more efficient services. The need for such social
services has never been higher. In that spirit, SCF is collaborating with even more nonprofits, providing more
services and tracking progress region by region.
To date, in this endeavor, SCF has raised and invested
more than $67 million to effect social and economic
changes. SCF’s planners believe in, “Give a man a fish and
feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for
Learn more about SCF, visit www.shareandcare.org
or call 201.262.7599
Creating opportunities in rural India
Eyeing the future,
Share and Care Foundation
is attempting to integrate
programs in areas where
the needs are greatest
Education, healthcare and rural empowerment
are among the top priorities for Share and Care
Foundation’s volunteer work in India.