As the whole world commemorated the World Social Work Day on the 15th March 2016 under the theme “Societies thrive when dignity and rights of peoples are respected. Social Workers towards an undivided humanity.”, Social Workers in Uganda on this day had more reasons to smile during the Social Work Dinner at Hotel Africana as the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development who was represented by the State minister for People with Disability and the Elderly Hon. Sulaiman Madada pledged government support towards the establishment of a Social Work council.
Social Workers have for long been struggling to seek legal support in gazetting the Social Work profession in the country. In a research conducted by Dr. Twikirize Janestic (20015), it was found out that many individuals who are practicing Social Work in Uganda have not undergone any formal training in Social Work with an example of one organization in Northern Uganda where the employee who was referred as a Social Worker was a certificate holder in Hair dressing.
Such cases have negatively affected the quality of Social Work related services from the self professed “social workers” which puts the profession at stake from the community appreciating the values, principles, skills and the body of knowledge that qualify Social Work as a relevant profession in promoting the Social Well being of individuals, groups and community in our country which in turn contributes a great deal of support in economic development and Social Transformation.
“The remarks made by the Honorable Minister should therefore not be taken lightly. You need to follow it up till its put in action as soon as possible.” Honorable Cassiano Wadri the Member of Parliament for Terego. He then pledged support towards this cause even if he wont be in the 11th Parliament. He was later joined by the former NASWU president Charles Tuhaise who is the Principle Research Officer of the Parliament of Uganda in ensuring that this law is passed in Parliament.
The NASWU Vice President Ms. Fatia Kiyange , encouraged members to continue supporting the NASWU secretariat through registering as members and also turning up whenever they are called upon since its through having a large and active membership base that our voices can be heard loud and thus “we are destined to reaching our goal”. She also used that opportunity to thank NASWU partners such as the OAK foundation, T.P.O, UNICEF and the Youth Social Worker Association (Y.S.A) among others for the support they render towards the sustainability of the Association.
The key note Speaker, Mr. Mugawe David the Deputy Vice Chancellor Development and External relations (Uganda Christian University) who has a professional Social Work background that has not only benefited Uganda but Africa and the world as a whole. His presentation mainly focused on the NASWU localized theme which was “END CHILD MARRIAGE NOW. “… Social Workers towards an undivided humanity.” where he encouraged Social Workers not to sit back but to know that they have a critical role to play to ENDING OF CHILD MARRIAGE, not yesterday or tomorrow BUT NOW.
Mr. Byamukama Michael the Country Representative REPPIS – Uganda out lined mainly three call actions that need to be to considered for a better Social Work working environment and these included; The need to support the process of the establishment of the Social Work Council. Need to support the NASWU Social Work mentorship program where already practicing Social Workers guide Social Work students and graduates in putting their acquired skills into practice. Finally he encouraged all Social Workers to register as members to the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU).
Towards the close of the Social Work dinner Ms Deborah gave a testimony of her early life when she fell victim of early marriage and thus encouraged collective responsibility in ending Child Marriage since its not an experience worth letting another child to pass through it.
In attendance where Social Workers and Delegates from; The Aids Support Organization (TASO), REPPIS, Childs i Foundation, Uganda Christian University – Mukono, Bugema University, Kisubi University, Cavendish University, Africa Renewual University – Buloba, Makerere University, Parliament of Uganda, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Child Help Line (116) Call centre, Terre des Hommes, Adina Foundation, Youth Social Workers Association, Africa Palliative Care Association among others.
Interesting quotes to remember made by the Moderator – Asst Commissioner for Youth Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development Mr. Kyateka Mond.
“Nothing touches humanity like Social Workers do”
“Communities are only as civilized as the level of efforts made by governments to appreciate and Support Social Workers to perform their transformation role.” K.F Mondo
“We are only as important as the impact we make in our communities”
The Dinner was then closed by Honorable Cassiano Wadri who encouraged Social Workers educators to do all they can to secure the future of the profession since its through them that Social Workers are trained.
Report compiled by