The staff and students at the Divine Word University (DWU) in Madang joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Social Works Day on the 21st of March.
Themed, “Respecting Diversity Through Joint Social Action,” it was the first time for the university especially for the students and staff from the Social and Religious Studies (SRS) Department, to take part in this significant event.
On the day, they remember all the hard-working Social Workers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and around the world who dedicated their lives to serve humanities. World Social Works Day is a celebration that aims to highlight the achievements of social work, raise and bring about more social services, and to promote humanitarian work.
The day itself has become a highpoint in the social work calendar with social workers all over the world celebrating it since 2007. According to SRS and Social Works Lecturer and organizer of the event, Miss Kuhlik, the program outlined three important speakers who each spoke about social issues affecting human rights in the country and how it can be protected.
The issues highlighted were violence against children, as well as Sorcery Related Accusation Violence and people living with HIV/AIDS. One of the issues highlighted during the event was Sorcery Accusation Related Violence (SARV) made by Keynote speaker and President of DWU, Professor Fr Philip Gibbs, who shared his experiences of his ministry work he did up in the Highlands regions.
“I spoke to many victims who have been hospitalized and are living in fear because of the horrendous actions from the accusers. Just by visiting them, I have seen that they are just ordinary people who are living normal lives.”
Fr Gibbs also visited Kundiawa, Mt Hagen, Mendi, and Enga provinces where he experienced and saw how many of those accused in the society were marginalized. Awareness work was carried out during his ministerial work, where he portrayed that every human life matters and to show that there are just as human and not sorcerers.
In addition to this, he encouraged all SRS students to research well these kinds of issues and to study the work of a social worker and what is required of them to help others. Fr Gibbs also commended all social workers out there throughout the country who work hard to protect human rights.