Every Third Tuesday of the month of March every year is a day set a side world wide to celebrate the World Social Work Day. Social Workers across all walks of life in different places and destinations use this opportunity to get back to the basic roots of the Social Work values and Principles that qualify them as professional Social Workers.
The International theme this year 2016 according to the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is;
“Societies thrive when the dignity and rights of all peoples are respected. SOCIAL WORKERS TOWARDS AN UNDIVIDED HUMANITY.
In Uganda, the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU) together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development have organized mainly two events which include; The Social Work Walk that took place on Sunday 13th March 2016 and the Social Workers’ Dinner on Tuesday 15th March 2016 the WORLD SOCIAL WORK DAY at Hotel Africana. Other activities have been decentralized in Social Work training institutions, Universities and Organizations where they are being encouraged to organize and carry out activities that brings hope and love especially to the disadvantaged communities.
All these activities have been localized into the Nationally Adopted theme of;
“END CHILD MARRIAGE NOW. “… Social Workers towards an undivided humanity”.”
In Uganda, any person below the age of 18 years is a Child and therefore their getting married for any reason in any form is considered as Child Marriage which is a criminal offense.
The NASWU president, Mr. Charles Draecabo said that “Cases of child marriages are many in our country most especially in the rural areas like Busoga and West Nile regions and thus as Social Workers we need to rise and join hands to working towards reducing Child Marriage case in our societies even as we mark this years World Social Work Day.”
The Coordinator NASWU Ms Irene Nafungo also emphasized that “the World Social Work Day is a day for Social Worker professionals who are key in ensuring the Social well-being individuals.” She also added that “Child Marriage is one of the Societal evils which is common in our societies with many of the affected children coming from impoverish, unstable families with others forced in marriage which in turn has led to their dropping out of School.”
The Vice President National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU), Ms. Fatia Kiyange after the Social Work Walk at Makerere University thanked the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and all others patterns for not sitting but working tirelessly to save guard the future of the children. She also encouraged students perusing Social Work to continue upholding the Social Work principles and values using her experience while working with the Africa Palliative Care Association.
The Chief Walker Prof. Paul Bukuluki a senior Social Worker educator at Makerere University encouraged Social Workers to uphold the principle of dignity and worth of every individual for a better community to stay in. He also encouraged all Social Workers to take part in the SOCIAL WORKERS’ DINNER which has been organized by the National Association of Social Work of Uganda secretariat together with the ministry of Gender, labour and Social Development. Participants of the walk included those in the academia (Students and Lecturers) from; Africa Renewual University, Bugema University, Bishop stuwart University – Mbarara, Cavendish University, Makerere University, Uganda Christian University, Kampala International University and Kyambogo University other participants included; Social Work Practitioners from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and other NASWU members.
Else where in East Africa, the 3rd East Africa Regional Conference on Social Work and Social Development is due to take place in Tanzania- Arusha as one of the activities dedicated to mark the Social Work month (March) to advance Social Work education in the Social Work Training institutions within the East African region and community. Expected participants include; practicing Social Workers, Social Work educators, Social Welfare officers, Civil Society organization and Development Partners.
Report complied by Okiria Gerald (in the picture below)