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As part of the International Social Work Day (ISWD), the Faculty of Social Sciences at « Université Evangélique en Afrique, UEA-Bukavu DRC », through the Department of Social Work celebrates a Social Work week, from Friday 26 to Monday, 29 April, 2019.

In fact, it is since 1983 that the United Nations and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) have launched an International Social Work Day celebrated by social work practitioners, researchers, students and educators in the second half of March, each year. For this year, activities related to this day are celebrated around the world under the theme “promoting the importance of human relations”. On this occasion, the Students¡¯ Research Circle in Social

Sciences “CRESS-UEA” alongside the Faculty of Social Sciences at UEA have chosen to celebrate a social work week, focused at the following four major activities:

(1) A social survey conducted by social work students in different neighborhoods in Bukavu town.  This social survey focused on the following two areas:

 – Poverty and rupture of family relationships

 – Conflicts related to inheritance

(2) A panel conference on social work and the rehabilitation of family relationships. In the first panel, four students, including DAVID LWESSO (5th year in Social Work), BAKWANYIMU BASHALE Christian (4th year in Social Work), Ndagano Mbilizi (4th year in Social Work) and MAPENZI CIRIBAGULA Divine (3rd year in Social Work) brilliantly presented the preliminary results of their social surveys on the above themes. In the same panel, Mr. Freddy Mushagalusha, an UEA Alumni,

shared his experience on the de-traumatisation techniques he uses in his daily work as a psychosocial assistant. The panel concluded with the presentation from delegates of the National

Association of Social Workers of the Congo, ANTS, Mr. DEDE KABUZI and Mr. LUCIO KIKUNI.

In the second panel of the conference, four speakers presented the results of their research. These, included Mr. AMANI KASHERWA Clovis (Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, UEA); Miss GISELLE BASHIGE (Women’s Media Association); Mr. Steve Kyungu Mukuta (UENPDDR) and KAGANDA MULUMEODERHWA (Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences).

In his presentation on Social Work and Post-Conflict Reconciliation in the Great Lakes Region, Amani Kasherwa explained the multiple ethical challenges pertaining the social work profession in a post-conflict environment and the coping strategies of social workers rooted in the

African culture in Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Uganda. Mr. Amani also described the constructive role played by social workers in regional and local reconciliation as well as in social peacebuilding in the Great Lakes region where some communities are considered as victims and others as executioners.

As for Professor Philippe Kaganda, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, social workers play a key role in the maintenance of family relationships. He indicated that social work is a professional practice and discipline that contributes to social change through social development, social cohesion, empowerment and the release of people.

Miss GISELLE BASHIGE presented on the role of gender and the media in promoting family relationships. She indicated that the media plays an ambivalent role in promoting gender and family relationships.

Finally, in his presentation, Mr. Steve Kyungu shared the experience of his organization, UEPNDDR in partnership with the NCA in the socio-economic integration of ex-combatants.

(3) A social work walk was also carried out this Saturday, April 27, 2019 on the streets of Bukavu, as part of the commemoration of the International Social Work Day.

(4) On Monday 29th April, students in the Social Work Department will be also visiting some secondary schools organizing the Social Sciences-related studies to talk to pupils in such schools on the future of the Social Work profession in the DRC.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the faculty of social sciences at « Université Evangélique en Afrique » was created since October 2013 with two departments, the Department of Social Work and the Department of Peace and Conflict Transformation. The Faculty also offers a Master’s degree program in Clinical Psychology.

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