Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Children Rosy Akbar (centre) with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Student Services) Professor Richard Coll (far left) and students during the World Social Work Day celebrations at USP.
Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Ms Rosy Akbar has commended the work of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Social Work Students Association.
While officiating at the celebration of World Social Work Day at the Laucala campus on 15 March 2016, Ms Akbar acknowledged the association for their contribution to society.
“They (students) are the future of our country. When we allow them the opportunity to be involved in uplifting the lives of those who are less fortunate, we are opening their eyes to a whole new world of self-sacrifice,” Ms Akbar said.
Ms Akbar said that the Department of Social Welfare has been working with USP’s School of Social Sciences in the placement of students from the social work field to complete their field training within the Department.
“Through this partnership many students have moved on to becoming professionals in their own right,” she added.
She urged all parents & guardians to encourage their children to consider social work as a rewarding career opportunity.
Ms Akbar said the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston (TC Winston) brought to the forefront, the importance of social and community workers in all phases of disaster management.
She paid special tribute to the many individuals, social workers, private and overseas organisations, faith-based organisations and NGOs, who displayed noble acts of kindness following the devastation caused by TC Winston.
“There is still much to be done, however, their swift act of kindness has lightened the load of the victims and hastened the recovery process,” she noted.
Ms Akbar said in most instances, the work of social workers go unnoticed and such events acknowledge the immense contribution social workers have made to improve people’s lives and that of the society as a whole.
Ms Akbar added that the Fijian Government places great emphasis on the dignity and in promoting the worth and parity of each individual.
This, she said is clearly enshrined in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of Fiji and as a result, there are three main social welfare benefit schemes to assist the poorest of the poor. They are the Care and Protection Allowance, Poverty Benefit Scheme and the Social Pension Scheme.
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