Respecting Diversity Through Joint Social Action - SACAP
Social Work & Community Development

Respecting Diversity Through Joint Social Action

Mar 28, 2023 | By Saranne Durham
Respecting Diversity Through Joint Social Action: World Social Work Day 2023 - SACAP
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World Social Work Day takes place on the third Tuesday of every March. It celebrates the achievement of Social Work. World Social Work Day also seeks to highlight the role Social Workers play within society. Thereby increasing societies’ awareness of how important their work is.

What is Diversity Through Joint Social Action?

Diversity in action is the conscious inclusion and involvement of all people, regardless of their backgrounds and differences. For example, religion, race, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and worldview. There are four types of diversity: internal, external, organisational and world. These correspond to diversity at an individual, community, work, and inter-country level.

Why is Diversity Important?

While diversity can be complicated, it creates opportunities. This is because people’s differences mean that they have varied strengths and perspectives. Using and coordinating differences can result in a better overall outcome when looking for an approach and solution to something. Thus, diversity can result in innovation, better performance and improved growth at the individual, community, work, and country levels.

How to Achieve Joint Social Action?

Joint social action comes about through cooperation. This is the coordination of two or more people or groups with each other. The intention of this working together is to bring about change, specifically as it relates to problems, conditions and resources. There are various ways that joint social action can take place. Such as through volunteering, donations, community campaigns as well as simple neighbourly acts of looking out for each other.

The Peoples Charter for an Eco-Social Work

The aim of the People’s Charter for an Eco-Social World is to enable everyone to live with confidence, security and peace in a sustainable world. This charter is a living document. Which means it is continuously edited and updated. It was drafted during the 2022 People’s Global Summit and was initiated by 26 diverse global organisations. After that, it was submitted to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum and General Assembly as an invitation and call to action to the world’s leaders.

Five People’s Charter Values:

  1. Buen Vivir, love and care for people and the planet, responsibilities and holistic rights.
  2. Respect, dignity, harmony, and social justice.
  3. Diversity, belonging, reciprocity and equity.
  4. Ubuntu, togetherness, accountability and community.
  5. Solidarity, equality, inclusion, and collaboration.

In order to achieve these values, there is a need for people to be inclusive in their everyday actions. Which means adjusting how we live and interact with others around us. The underlying assumption is that, while there is diversity, we are all interdependent and cannot create a sustainable future without cooperation. Practically, this type of cooperation means co-developing reciprocity, co-building peace, co-creating social justice, co-realising equality and co-living with nature.

Accordingly, the People’s Global Summit aims to continually support and promote the co-designing and co-building of a new eco-social world. At its essence, the People’s Charter for an Eco-Social World seeks to respect diversity through joint social action. Thereby improving social welfare worldwide.

The Role of Social Workers in an Eco-Social World

What do Social Workers Do?

A Social Worker is someone who is an empathetic people person that is interested in advocating change so as to better the world around them. This may be in relation to individuals, families, communities, government, or the environment. They work within the public, private and non-profit sectors with the intention to bring about healing and change.

Why are Social Workers Key Social Advocates?

At least three factors increase a community’s vulnerability. The first is its material and physical conditions. The second is organisational conditions which impact the robustness of a community’s social support networks. And the third is a community’s dependence on external support.

Social Workers tend to operate at the “coal face” of societies’ vulnerabilities. Therefore, they have a deep understanding of the issues and needs within a challenging situation. They are well-placed to see the bigger context of an issue, as well as the practicality of what can be done to resolve it. This makes them key advocates for the rights of individuals and communities. As well as catalysts for positive environmental changes.

How do Social Workers Promote an Eco-Social World?

Social workers work within the context of diversity. They seek to find solutions, which respect the differences between people and that don’t create barriers or promote prejudices. This is important when seeking to achieve the goal of respecting diversity through joint social action. Social workers are trained to be able to coordinate programmes and efforts to create change. Thus, social workers are usually good at foreseeing and mitigating challenges which could arise and prevent change from happening.

15 Focus Areas of a Social Worker

  1. Social development.
  2. Social policy.
  3. Community development.
  4. Family development and guidance.
  5. Violence and abuse.
  6. Social work intervention with children and youth.
  7. Foster care and adoption.
  8. Statutory services.
  9. Gerontology (old age, the process of ageing, and the particular challenges faced by old people).
  10. Crime prevention.
  11. Health and mental health.
  12. Substance abuse.
  13. People with disabilities.
  14. Employee assistance programmes.
  15. Academia and research.

What You need to be a Social Worker

Being a social worker is a calling and not just a job. Essentially, this means that there are vital personal characteristics, in addition to academic requirements, for becoming a social worker. For example, good IQ and EQ, great communication skills, even temper, determination, tenacity, creative thinking and problem-solving as well as a big heart for people. At times it can be heart-breaking and at other times rewarding and fulfilling. It is a professional job which requires a degree and registration with the SACSSP.

Where to Study Social Work

SACAP’s Bachelor of Social Work is a highly respected programme. It prepares students for a rewarding career in social work. This degree ensures national and international alignment with the Global Norms and Standards for Social Work Education and Training, which were developed by the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). Enrol online or contact a SACAP student advisor for further information relating to SACAP’s Social Work and Community Development courses.

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