Statement of the 7th Pan African Social Work Conference, May 20-24, 2007
STOP THE WAR! END POVERTY!
“We have great challenges ahead, and great possibilities. And let us not lose hope. When you lose hope you die. We’ve got to keep going. I know how difficult it is. We’ve got to have that kind of ‘in spite of’ quality, to say that we are going on anyhow. We will keep the kind of hope alive that will make us know that if we will unite, if we will organize, we will be able to dramatize these issues to the point that something will be done.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memphis, TN, 1968
We social workers from 25 countries in Africa and the continents, recognizing the interrelatedness of poverty to human rights, justice, the environment, and governance, declare that: there can be no way to eradicate poverty and pursue development in the context of war.
War is the antithesis of what we as social workers are working for and aspiring to, and that is the enhancement of human life and human dignity.
Therefore let it be resolved:
- that national governments recognize and acknowledge the practice of social work and the social work profession,
- that these national governments acknowledge and support through their policies and practices the unique role that social work and social workers play in society,
- that social workers adopt practical approaches to eradicate poverty with specific foci on the grass roots and local community levels, with a focus on the poorest of the poor: women, children, and the elderly,
- that social workers acknowledge that poverty is experienced in different and discreet ways by diverse groups and classes of people throughout the world.
Therefore, let it be resolved that poverty eradication strategies be designed by taking into account different social, economic, personal, and political contexts.
Let us be the change that we wish to see in the world.