By Fernando Vespa
During my interview of a member of Women Connect First, the topic of social work attracted immediately my attention. This because during my work as trainee lawyer specializing in human rights law I’m always facing social and integration issues, that are obviously linked with the theme of peace and of living together in a community.
One WCF member, involved in local social activities organized by the Cardiff Council, told us that Social Work is first of all important for you as a person and as a human, because of her experiences of social work in the UK. This because if you are a social worker you will be called to help people in a lot of different ways, to develop your skills in listening and understanding and to appreciate the positive values linked to cultural diversity. She told us that be a social worker is also responsible work, because you will be involved in very sensitive and delicate personal stories, and confidentiality of all information will be strictly required.
You will be called to interact with many different types of people, all requiring different type of attention: homeless people, people with disabilities, victims of violence and abuse, older people, people with psychological problems, etc.
At the end, we made a brief comparison with the situation of social work in the other countries of origin of the members of WCF. We realised that in Europe there is a lot of public sector support for this kind of activity (e.g. from Cardiff Council). However in other countries the existence of the role of social worker is not to be taken for granted. The Arabic women told us that there is no such thing as social worker support in their countries, while the women from India and Pakistan told us that there was in theirs.
These different situations made us reflect on how the approach to social problems can change depending on country of origin, and a worldwide call for attention for people who needs help seems absolutely necessary. In this context the role of social worker will be very important to ensure that everyone could live together, and better, in peace.
This blog was written as part of a UNA Exchange / Wales for Peace project: A group of international volunteers from across Europe spent two weeks volunteering with a group of women from Women Connect First based in Riverside, Cardiff. As they volunteered together, they shared peace stories.