Saturday 14 December 2019 – Jdeideh Al-Bouchrieh Al-Sad Municipality, Lebanon
The Syndicate held a press conference on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Jdeideh Al-Bouchrieh Al-Sad Municipality at 12 noon. A large number of social workers attended as well as representatives of private and public universities, associations and unions. In her speech, President Nadia Badran addressed the syndicate’s position on the current situation in the country and a session of discussion and questions followed. Badran emphasized that the profession of “Specialist in Social work in Lebanon” stands for “the cause is the human being, where we share as professionals the suffering and we unite to find opportunities”.
She stressed that everyone: “Citizens, professionals, groups, communities and people, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, teenagers, youth, adults and the elderly, each of whom has his own suffering; hunger, poverty, deprivation, pain, inequality and unknown destiny are the factors that unite them. Hence, is anyone listening?” She added “it has been a while that the voices began to rise… They are screams of multitude demands. “Did we participate or not”, “we objected or agreed”… As a matter of fact, we all agree that our society is collapsing, on the economic, social, health, educational institutions and the judicial institutions levels; does anyone respond?” What are we witnessing today in Lebanon are the painful and rightful demands, so what is our role?
Since this conference coincided with World Human Rights Day, the syndicate wanted to reiterate, “human rights are one, indivisible and unrelated to identity, age, gender or political stands, etc. Since these rights are fundamental and priority in social work as they are not only the basic course of the code of ethics and professional ethics, they are integral to the definition of our profession, so we must ask, where are we from the application process…? “ She wondered about the fate of social support, particularly in-kind social assistance, which is scarce, and if any existed, it is not able to meet the needs that are multiplying day by day. This harsh reality puts each “social work specialist in Lebanon” in bitterness and responsibility at the same time. The basic needs such as food, drink, clothing, housing and “breathing”, which are essential, are being eroded; depriving anyone of these needs is an act of holding back one’s empowerment and advancement. We are entrusted of following up, accompanying, caring and providing support to the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the poor and the special cases, especially the forgotten ones in order to alleviate their suffering. She added, “The professionals need to address these basic needs and move in more than one direction, as this is at the core of our competence and profession since the inception of social work in Lebanon more than 70 years ago”.
“We have pledged! We are called upon to take our professional responsibility to calm hearts and souls, protect the vulnerable, respond to the problems of the people, the families, the communities and institutions, and to quickly intervene in order to restrain the repercussions…”
“Our mission is difficult! What complicates it further is that we are also experiencing problems that are shaking our stability on personal and family level; our personal suffering intersects with the suffering of the beneficiaries from the institutions we work with. However, out of our professional duty, which is needed today more than ever, we try to hold on to support the institutions we work with in order to carry on with their work of caring and giving; these institutions are aware that we are always the advocates of the cause we are working for.”
As President of this syndicate, I appealed to all concerned, the caretaker government and the future governments, whatever they may be… to assume
their responsibilities, today before tomorrow, and to develop an emergency plan to take care of the human being as we are in dire need of responding to life’s needs, which are multiple. She offered to help while saying, “As social workers in Lebanon, we put our knowledge and competencies in disposal.” She called on the international community, especially donor institutions, to provide support to civil society organizations, and other institutions in Lebanon, in order to be able to address humanitarian issues (social, economic and health) and rearrange the priorities of programs and projects to meet basic primary needs. She stressed on the stakeholders among international donor institutions and along local institutions’ participation, to set controls that contribute to the implementation of programs in order to achieve the desired objectives.
Our country, with all its institutions, and the international community are accountable for “responding to the national agenda”. We, by virtue of our
specialization, each of our professionals, and from his responsible position, can participate in the design of strategic plans to meet the various humanitarian needs and address the dangerous spillovers.
In our profession, we are called “the movers and “the initiators”, “the seekers of change and development” and “defenders of justice”, we are professionals who trust peace, seek justice and trust the other. Social justice is not an illusion or an unfulfilled dream; we are not dreamers but practical professionals. Believing that the protector of this profession is a specialist professional who seeks to apply a set of human, democratic and professional values by following the principles of the work he trained on.
Today, we are more than ever aware that we are united in everything we accomplish, through a profession that brings us together, where our voice will remain one on humanitarian issues despite difficulties of all kinds and no matter what our affiliations might be. We ask ourselves to show our solidarity in all circumstances, because “our profession is a distinct social profession whose cause is the human being”. This is how countries are built.
We all live in a country that will remain as long as we are united under the roof of rights and law.
Long live Lebanon
President of Social workers’ Syndicate in Lebanon