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Social work is a rewarding profession - DPS Jatta

Apr 21, 2010, 12:31 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Mr. Madi O. Jatta, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has said that social work is an exciting, demanding and an immensely rewarding profession.

DPS Jatta, who was speaking recently at the second graduation ceremony of 25 social work students of SOS-Regional Mothers and Adult Training Centre in Bakoteh said social work requires uncommon dedication to strive for social reform. He stated that the world needs people who are committed to the needs of other people.

Jatta emphasised that social workers attend to those in distress, identify and remedy the social-ills that rob people of their dignity and prevent them from achieving their full potential. He said social workers help people function the best way they can in their environment, deal with their relationships and solve personal and family issues.

According to him, social workers often see and assist clients who are face with life-threatening diseases or social problems. These problems, he added, may include inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial distress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy or anti-social behaviour.

He said social work has always been subjected to competing claims of definition and practice, as social workers, politicians, service users and policy makers have struggled to lay claims on what social work is all about or what it might be.

DPS Jatta commended SOS for the initiative taken to institute social work in their programme and also for their noble efforts to produce a critical mass of social workers for The Gambia.

In her graduation speech, the Chairperson SOS social work certificate program academic advisory board, Dr. Julieta Mendes gave a brief background of how SOS Kinderdorf International was founded far back in 1949 in Imst, Austria as a child care social organisation. She said SOS Regional headquarters in The Gambia oversees six West African countries, namely Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Cape Verde, Liberia and the Gambia.

In The Gambia, she said the first children's village was built at Bakoteh in 1982 with a second one in Basse in 2007.

Other speakers were SOS Directress, Mrs. Ellen Maraizu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Muhammed Kah, while Pierre Jatta, a graduating student delivered the vote of thanks.