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Service Programs

Moldova Forum on the Role of the Social Worker in the Community

Ialoveni, Moldova - In cooperation with the Department of Family and Social Assistance, UPF-Moldova organized a presentation on the theme “The Role of the Social Worker in the community.” The event gathered 87 social workers from all the villages of the Ialoveni Region.

Mr. Gore (appointed an Ambassador for Peace in 2011) has deep concerns for the problems and challenges his colleagues face every day in the field and wanted to help them by providing insights about best practices and useful information. Moldova has many social problems in the villages, where people are most vulnerable due the lack of employment opportunities and low level of civic and community initiatives. Old people and children are especially vulnerable due to the massive emigration of healthy adults to foreign countries. For many of the beneficiaries, the government is their only hope for survival, but this creates a dependency mindset.

The approach of UPF-Moldova Secretary General, Mr. Mihai Calestru, was challenging from the very beginning. The presentation started with a quite challenging question: What is the ultimate goal of your job? The answer was surprisingly simple, the goal is to achieve the day when social workers will be no longer needed in the community.

He used the analogy of some Oriental doctors who were paid not by the level of the sickness of their patients but by number of days when their patients were healthy. The same principle applied to a social worker's job would be a community where all the people are taking care of the elderly and children without state involvement, with the help of the family, relatives, and neighbors. This would be the goal any social worker would strive for.

The presentation suggested effective communicative tools in dealing with elderly who may be violent or aggressive and practical suggestions for how to deal with disobedience and misbehavior of children under the social workers' supervision and care.

The aim of the meeting was to inspire a change in the hearts and minds of people from feeling dependent to being in charge of their lives. There is no joy in activity which does not produce results and make progress. The good results for any social worker would be a more healthy, happy, and prosperous community; they are the ones who deeply feel the need for change.

UPF plans to continue work with the Ialoveni Region Local Administration in inspiring and educating for change based on UPF founders' teachings to work for a better country for our children and grandchildren.

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