Social Workers Beyond Borders SWBB

In the spring of 2006, the founders of Social Workers Beyond Borders were inspired by a speech given by Stephen Lewis, former U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, during which he challenged the social work audience to create an organization to use social work skills and therapeutic interventions to find ways to alleviate the suffering of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa … (about 1/2).

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About 2/2: … The name Social Workers Beyond Borders was chosen for the agency symbolizing the importance for social workers to reach beyond borders to provide a psychosocial response to address human catastrophe around the world.

The Present Need:

In our increasingly troubled world, there is a need for a new generation of social workers with a commitment to global issues and the endemic problems faced by developing communities. As many of these communities continue to battle with HIV/AIDS, poverty, gender-based violence, child trauma and major conflict, the social work profession has the ability to directly intervene by focusing on the combination of individual, family, group and community work to facilitate social change.

Social work’s ability to engage in public education, clinical work, advocacy, therapeutic intervention, psychosocial support, and policy research and analysis allows it to adapt appropriately to other settings. Social workers as agents of change can have a direct impact in such communities by sharing its knowledge and expertise to people facing challenges in their lives. This underpins the legitimacy and centrality of the social work profession to respond adequately to global issues.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, AIDS has killed nearly 19 million people worldwide, including some 425,000 Americans. AIDS has replaced malaria and tuberculosis as the world’s deadliest infectious disease among adults and is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. Over 13 million children have been orphaned by the epidemic.

Link: Ontario Public Interest Research Group OPIRG McMaster, Research and Action: the Ontario Public Interest Research Group McMaster is a campus-based, student funded and student directed organization working on issues of environment and social justice, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada … Homepage; Article published on Social Work Beyond Borders Committee SWBBC.

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