The University of Kisubi (UniK) is a Catholic founded University which has not only focused at teaching and training Social Work students but also engaged them in the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU) activities such as the Social Work walk, dinner and students conference in the recent years.
In a meeting held between the NASWU team and some of the University administrators led by the Deputy University Registrar, they agreed to work closely with each other to support Social Work students and education as a whole at the institution. This commitment was further confirmed through the institution also paying its annual subscription fee. The Deputy Registrar who also represented the Dean Human and Social Science of the University, pledged to continue supporting Social Work students to participate in NASWU activities.
The NASWU President thanked the institution for supporting their staff and students, to take part in NASWU activities and encouraged them to continue doing so. He also recognized the institution having formalized their relationship with NASWU through paying their Institutional membership subscription and also pledged support to the institution in any area they may need help as long as its within it’s area of mandate.
Before that, the President Mr. Charles Draecabo together with his team met Social Work students where he encouraged them to consider themselves special, since Social Work is a noble profession that is respectable and proved to be applicable even in our day to day life.
He briefly shared his best experience in Social Work practice, where he led and motivated his colleagues while working in a refugee resettlement camp in mobilizing resources so as to build a roof for the old lady. This was after they had visited her home and unfortunately during their visit, it rainned and water filled the house since she had a leaking roof. It was from that point that he led his team then to build a better roof for the old woman to save from worries for a property whenever it rains. Upon completing constructing the roof, the old woman was grateful and as a result of being overwhelmed with joy she compared Mr. Charles to her son who had passed on who had promised to build her a better house. It was from that point that he felt maximum satisfaction in life and became more committed to the Social Work profession.
He then encouraged them to remain dedicated and committed to the Social Work profession through upholding the Social Work values and principles while in practice with examples of not accepting bribes and keeping time during times for meetings. He emphasized that professionalism “… involves delivering of services according to the expected standards not just scoring 100% in course work.”
Regarding the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU), the president informed participants that NASWU is made up of members whose objective is also to promote professional Social Work training and practice.
He also shared some of the NASWU strategic objectives which included the following;
- Promote professional social work training through supporting initiatives that harmonize the social work curriculum taught in different institutions.
- Build capacity and organize specialized training for its members in specialized areas such as child protection, medical social work and psychological support. These he said are being done in partnership with organizations and Social Work practitioners with the needed skills to facilitate these sessions such as T.P.O.
- Establish a Social Work council to regulate Social Work education and practice in the country. He informed them that NASWU is currently in final discussion with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with plans of meeting senior management team soon.
- Organize events and activities that will bring people together to share their Social Work experience at whatever professional they may be. This in return will boost networking and connections opportunities needed most especially among students to.
- Advocate of Social Work profession at both National and International forums through the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). Through this as NASWU we are to speak out in issues that are happening in our Society from the Social Work perspective.
He informed the students that implementation of the above objectives has been made possible by the existing NASWU structures which is also composed of very qualified and well placed National Executive Committee (N.E.C) members and individuals.
Mr. Ssekate Johnmary a member of the NASWU legislation sub committee informed students that our country needs Social Workers in the Social Service delivery to benefit the community since they have got the basic skills required skills to implement such programs. Dr. Fawuz Mulumba was not any different from him, as he encouraged students to uphold the Social Work value of service as it’s one of the ways through which the community will be able to know and appreciate their work and later can attach value to it.
Dr. Azah Taibu then concluded the NASWU presentation by encouraging students to be prepared in all they do since success comes to a prepared mind. She encouraged students to always look out for opportunities that always hinden in challenges. She informed students that NASWU’s objective is to strengthen the linkages between Social Work students, graduates and also tapping into opportunities of practitioners. She then informed them that NASWU is currently in discussions with a number of Social Service organizations whom they believe will be able to support the Social Work mentorship and internship program.
Students were then given opportunity to ask and some of the questions included the following;
Qn1. How do I become a member of NASWU?
All Social Work students and graduates are eligible to register through filling a membership form attached with other requirements and qualification. Fee for students is shs20,000 annually and shs 50,000 for practicing Social Workers. All other individuals who are not qualified Social Workers and are interested to be part of NASWU register as Associate member.
Qn2. “We normally get challenges on where to do our Internship. How can NASWU us help get placements?”
NASWU works is currently working in partnership with other organizations to implement the Social Work mentorship program which involves connecting students with challenges on the available internship opportunities.
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