By Ashirafu Sekajja
KIU Main Campus-Tuesday, March 21, 2023, was a very pivotal day for the social work students of Kampala International University (KIU) who made a trip to the University of Kisubi to take part in the world social work day celebration. The University was joined by Makerere, Nkumba, Ndeje, Kampala University, and Metropolitan University among others.
The world social work day ran under the theme “Respecting Diversity through Joint Social Action"
Edith Namakula Tumwine, the National Association of Social Workers (NASWO) board member and coordinator central region said that social workers uphold the principle of serving the community without discrimination regardless of ethnicity, religion or political affiliation, or belief.
Dr. Faith Nakalema the head of department of social work and Social Administration at KIU asserted that “when there is respect of diversity through joint social action, there will be diversity and inclusivity and discrimination of one another will be minimal."
As to what approach should be used to deal with the newly confessed diversities such as the LGBTQ.
"We are supposed to respect each other and we should be non-judgemental. So when a person’s sexual orientation is queer or for instance they are homosexual, lesbian, or transgender, we are supposed to include them in every activity the way they are," she said.
She, however, noted that respecting other confessed diversities does not deviate society from respecting its time-tested cultural values.
"Therefore to press ahead successfully we need to enlighten the queer people so that they get to know the dreadful health consequences of same-sex relationships and by doing this may be their mindsets will be changed for the better," she explained.
Fr Dr. Aloysius Lwanga Bukenya, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Innovations at the University of Kisubi pointed out that there are many diversities world over and in the country. Such diversities include tribal, language, religion, and politics, as well as diversities in physical abilities and disabilities. Therefore this day is important to reawaken the interest of social workers to acknowledge diversities in Ugandan society.
Musa Tumukorere, the coordinator of SWASA and a student at KIU highlighted that young social workers need to promote respect for diversity in our community through the various social work laws.
Musa also implored young social workers to be proud of their profession, that it is through social work that social problems can be eradicated.
Sharon Kukunda said that she learned from the various speaker's brilliant social work ideas that will transform her career in social work.
“I will be able to teach and change the mindset of people both in village and urban areas," she said.
Julian Ssenyange noted that social work is a profession that joins almost all other professions because social workers are found in almost every employment sphere.
He further pointed out that social workers are groomed to be impact-makers in societies.
“If a society has no impact, social workers will make every effort to create impact in that society."
The sweetest moment of the event was the issuing of certificates of participation to two social work students from KIU who excelled in essay writing on 5th, March 2023. The two students are Esther Dinah Nadiye and Musa Tumukorere.
It was a wonderful moment as the two outstanding essay writers stood in the middle of the podium to take pictures with some of the dignitaries who attended the event.
The field of social work was instituted by Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House and Nobel peace prize winner. Jane demonstrated the ethics and values of that became the basis of the 100-year-old social work profession.
Social work as a course is now taught in many universities across the world and world social work day is celebrated every year on 21, mar, every year to shine a light on the importance of social work in the global community.