The School of Social Work and Community Development celebrated World Social Work Day at the Howard College campus March 17.

The event was attended by more than 500 students and staff who for the first time joined social workers around the world to celebrate the day. The theme was: 'Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda.'

In her opening remarks, Professor Fikile Mazibuko, DVC and Head of the College of Humanities, said the theme reflected global preparations for the Social Work and Social Development World Conference taking place in Hong Kong in June 2010.

“On the basis of this theme, the Social Work and Community Development Disciplines should take the lead in Higher Education and in generating meaningful solutions to the major challenges of poverty, illiteracy among women, land reform, migration and immigration, social security, and quality of life,” said Professor Mazibuko. She commended the students of social work and community development for taking the initiative and their visionary engagement with the School.

She also said that more meaningful interventions are needed to eliminate poverty and the renewal of the social welfare and social development system across the continents.

Social Work students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, from South Africa, SADC, and internationally gave visionary and insightful statements on their choice of social work as their profession. Ernie Smith, the KwaZulu-Natal musician had students on their feet with his vibrant and theme related renditions. His performance was his contribution to the celebration and observation of this important day.

Professor Donal McCracken, Dean of Faculty of the Humanities, Development and Social Sciences, congratulated and praised the School for its intellectual capacity and focused initiatives .

One of the guest speakers, Mrs Buyi Moreki, a retired Social Worker, cautioned Social Work students about the realities and challenges they face in the profession. She highlighted the fact that there was no glitz and glamour in the field – it was all about job satisfaction, commitment and making a difference.

Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul and Dr Barbara Simpson, the academic co-ordinators continue to play a mentoring role to both undergraduate and postgraduate social work students.