Internship is an academic requirement for every Social Work student where students are required to find an organization in which they will get opportunity to put into practice the acquired “class” knowledge. The practicum objective of is academic requirement is normally not efficiently achieved as many employees doubt the competence of the Social Work graduates today.
Its from that background among other factors that the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU) is currently piloting the Tripartite Social Work students mentorship and placement program among NASWU registered institutions (Social Work Departments) and Welfare Organizations. This is enable Social Work students get quality and efficient skill acquisition under the supervision of a qualified Social Worker in the hosting agency.
In the months of April to August 2016, 4 Social Work students (registered with NASWU) from Makerere University, Kyambogo University and Uganda Christian University where placed at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (Child Helpline) and Non Government Organizations such as Childs I Foundation and Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) and we glad they appreciated this opportunity.
Akoth Agnes a third year Bachelor of Social Work and Social Administration student (waiting to graduate in January 2017) was among the lucky students to pioneer this program and in her letter of appreciation to NASWU she summarizes her experience at the Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) as one which was “…very informative, interesting, educative and practical …”. She continues and says that she “…. was able to learn about women’s rights and policies. I acquired skills in advocacy, communication, capacity building, information dissemination and empowerment in terms of engaging women in income generating activities, team work, writing articles, developing a concept note, budgets for meetings, work plans and monthly progress reports, organizing meetings, working under minimal supervision among others.”
Our ultimate object is to have every registered NASWU Individual and Organization member taking part in mentoring and nurturing these young professionals to acquiring the required skills and competence necessary in their career development as professional Social Workers.
We would therefore wish to thank each and every organization that hosted these students and also call upon other interested organizations and institutions to register with us. As NASWU, we encourage all Social Workers in Social Welfare organizations to voluntarily embrace this initiative with NASWU as a coordinating organization responsible for ensuring quality supervision and compliance to the professional standards of practice guided by the NASWU ethical code of Code conduct.
#NASWU: Empowering Individuals; Transforming Communities.