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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Social workers: champions for just cause

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

SOCIAL workers have received due recognition for their vital role in addressing communal challenges and empowering communities.

This comes as the country joined the global community in celebrating World Social Work Day this Tuesday.

The Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, Honourable Mercy Dinha, who was the guest of honour at the commemorations, acknowledged the significant contribution of social workers to the national development agenda.

“Government acknowledges and appreciates the role of social workers in the development agenda, as we work towards achieving the status of an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030. This is being achieved through our blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 2021 to 2025. Social workers are part of the broader social service workforce and are critical in the delivery of child protection, social protection, health and education services, amongst others.

“We can all agree that quality delivery of social protection services and child protection, in particular, is hinged on a well-functioning workforce. Strong social protection systems are essential in helping individuals and families including children and persons with disabilities, who are the most vulnerable, to cope with crises and shocks, find jobs, improve productivity, invest in the health and education of their children, and protect the aging population.

“It is therefore important to assess the capacity of the social service workforce time and again to identify strengths and gaps to be addressed to maintain the optimum quality of social services delivery,” she said.

As the foot soldiers who interact with society daily, theirs is not just a story of dedication, but determination.

“We have a lot of social ills in the world so it is very important for social workers to come together to celebrate this day. The theme for this year is very much relevant especially in our context as we are saying, ‘Shared Future for a Transformative Change’, which is very much rooted in our indigenous wisdom and endeavour to achieve the national agenda,” said the president of the National Association of Social Workers Zimbabwe, Gift Saladi.

“The problem of drug and substance abuse is now so rampant, thus government has intensified its efforts in curbing the scourge. As social workers, we are here to support and strengthen the measures that have been taken by the government in fighting this scourge which is mainly affecting the youth. We are promoting government’s policies,” noted National Association of Social Workers Zimbabwe publicity officer, Richard Kadyauta.

Celebrated annually on the third Tuesday of March, World Social Work Day serves as a platform to acknowledge the contribution of social workers to communal development as well as create a more just and equitable society.

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