Now the world is fighting the Covid-19 virus. In this fight, social workers are also at the forefront of the battlefield and hope this fight will end soon.
We Korean Association of Social Workers wants to share that how Korea deal with Covid-19 to co-workers around the world. I hope that the sharing of our experience would be a little inspiration and reference for other countries.
As of March 22, in Korea, 8,897 Covid-19 case in confirmed and 104 of people lost their lives. About Three Hundred Thousand confirmed cases occurred in 186 countries worldwide and 12,747 people lost their lives from the Covid-19.
Recently WHO proclaimed pandemic on March 11 for the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus which is second case since the 2003 SARS incident.
The Korean government also proclaimed Korea’s most severely damaged area where are Daegu and some parts of Gyeongsangbuk-do as special disaster areas on March 15th.
The social welfare delivery system and social welfare service which are the most of interpersonal service. It is not being performed as in the previous of Covid-19 crisis. According to governmental prevention policy, it is a natural step to stop the personal services. However, Korean social workers are still working hard in their own place. We check the health condition of people and client through a hello call, and we do our best by running with two feet to people delivery meal service to the difficulty of group meals.
In addition, social workers in living facilities still silently devoted to the socially disadvantaged even some of them were having cohort isolation.
In Korea, Also the educational administration is scheduled to open in early April, about a month delayed from normal schedule. In addition, this schedule may be postponed again. Many universities are also doing their best to provide educational services, such as converting offline lectures to online lectures.
Therefore the public and private sector are contemplating new types of alternative services.
We have central fundraising group in Korea similar to the United Way(USA) called the Community Chest of Korea. About US$57million was donated to support the damage of Covid-19, and currently US$19million dollar was used which is about a third.
The donations were mainly used for disinfection and hygiene-management, livelihood support for the people with low-income, and medical items for medical staff.
The Korean Association of Social Workers also began to support for social workers suffering from Covid-19 from March 11 with the support by Community Chest of Korea
Through the support of the Community Chest of Korea. Emergency psychological support was provided to social workers in Daegu and Gyeongbuk area which are the most affected. The necessities and food were sent to each facility, and more urgently provided to the living facilities in Gyeongbuk area where were into cohorts isolation.
Preparing for Delivery
Furthermore through discussions with professional healthcare company, we are trying to motivate the social workers who are depressed by supporting stress-control applications to social workers across the country.
Besides, we are planning to support the social welfare facility to purchase and support goods. And each local association is closely supporting the community through fundraising and hygiene products donation.
Not only the Association but also individual members are also assisting social workers and facilities in Daegu and Gyeongbuk where the most affected areas through their own fundraising and purchase of goods.
Lately, in connection with this Covid-19 incident, we Korean Association are trying to form a group of social welfare response. Pan social welfare task force will be established to fight Covid-19 and KASW will assist mainly. The task force will be 26members who participated the social welfare convention last year and wait for the various members to participate.
Future activities will be shared through Facebook and homepage later. Please be こconcern about our future activities.
At the moment, no one knows the end of Covid-19 and unfortunately it is expanding worldwide. Disasters are cruelly more deadly to the socially disadvantaged. We social workers will defend the socially disadvantaged for their respective positions. That is why we social worker must be stronger and keep good health.
Pray for worldwide with Sincerity.
We shall overcome!