Zim social work growing

HARARE - The Daily News Community Affairs Editor, Margaret Chinowaita, (MC) spoke to Noel Muridzo, (NM), a Zimbabwean social worker who was recently selected to be a member-at-large of International Federation of Social Workers.

MC: Briefly outline your background as a social worker in Zimbabwe?

NM: I am a social worker by profession registered with the Council of Social Work (Zimbabwe) and a member of the National Association of Social Workers Zimbabwe.

I attained a Diploma in Social Work, a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from the University of Zimbabwe in 2000, 2001 and 2006 respectively.

I have interest in the area of child sexual abuse, medical social work, corporate social responsibility and socio-economic development.

I have also taught at the School of Social Work (UZ) and Women University in Africa (WUA).

I am serving a second term as the president of the National Association of Social Workers Zimbabwe (NASWZ).

MC: You were recently selected to be a member at large of International Federation of Social Workers, what does this entail to social work in Zimbabwe?

NM: This is an honour to Zimbabwean social work and our association. In this role, Zimbabwe’s social work voice — professionals and organisations — will be amplified and influence international policies and practices.

MC: What would be your role in this new position?

NM: In this role, I will attend IFSW executive committee and general meetings representing our region, and contribute to the accomplishment of the IFSW action plan goals at both the global and regional level.

I will also maintain an active commitment to the global goals of the IFSW as well as regional goals.
Support the work of the Vice President regarding activities related to the development of regional structure and operations consistent with the IFSW constitution and by-laws.

I will also communicate and work with the Vice President for the region on a regular basis, support regional planning and activities related to promotion of the social work profession.

Together with the Vice President, we will support and monitor individual member country activities with respect to establishment of practices which encourage or enable ethical social work behaviour, human rights activities, promotion of excellence in social work education.

It will entail encouraging and supporting communication, exchange, collaboration and meetings between member organisations in the region.

In consultation with the regional Vice President, we will act as the IFSW representative in regional political and professional events and also network with regional institutions.

MC: How is this beneficial locally and globally?

NM: Locally, as Zimbabwe, we the social workers, NASWZ and social work organisations have an opportunity to have a more refined and concentrated insight on how the world deals with social work.

Such information and knowledge we can implement, if it is suitable for our own context.

Globally, Zimbabwe can also bring about new perspectives on social work to the world arena.

Our own unique experiences and ideas can help change social welfare on a global scale.

MC: What challenges are there in Zimbabwe regarding social work?

NM: Perhaps the biggest challenge that is faced by social work in Zimbabwe is the fact that society does not know who we are and what we do.

Ordinary citizens do not know who we are and what we do and how we can assist them. Stakeholders do not fully appreciate our role and do not collaborate with us enough to improve the country’s social welfare.
Our salaries are also low and any employer of ours; be it public or private, has not yet considered us as a skilled profession. This may result in lack of motivation among our members and their migration.

MC: What are the solutions to these problems?

NM: The solution lies in making all stakeholders conscious of the important role that social workers play in our society. We, as NASWZ, and the stakeholders should work together so that society benefits from its investment in us, our knowledge and social welfare is improved in the country.

MC: What is the situation in Zimbabwe regarding social work?

NM: Our profession is growing at an admirable pace in the country.
We are formalising registrations and accreditations. This helps us on issues of ethics and professional standards. As NASWZ we are interacting and putting forward the social work agenda in our country.
MC: What are you aiming to achieve in your new endeavour?

NM: I aim to assist the betterment of social services to the peoples of the world and more specifically Zimbabwe.

MC: How do you see yourself in the next five years?

NM: Life has no guarantees and has a lot of surprises. One can never know what or where they will be in the future. I just hope that I will still be a practitioner in my profession.

MC: There are a number of social work organisations in Zimbabwe, how are you going to assist these in your new international role?

NM: There are a number of partners working in the social work arena. I believe we are all one big family and so the organisations should constantly work together to make social work a better profession.

It is not only what I or our organisation can do for other organisations, it is also what they can do for us. As such I believe that this is a mutual relationship among the organisations. We will take advantage of our relationships with the organisations to champion the social work cause in Zimbabwe on the international arena.

MC: What are your last words?

NM: I would like to thank all the members of NASWZ and all social workers in Zimbabwe.
Your passion for our noble profession is something that makes me proud to be a Zimbabwean social worker.

I would also like to thank my wife for the support and love. Lastly want to show my appreciation to all the people I have worked with that have contributed so much to my life.
MC: Thank you!

Comments (1)

thank you Noel for advocating and empowering social work in Zimbabwe...i am very happy to see this because i am training as a social worker at the University of Zimbabwe

korazon kativu - 18 May 2017

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