The partnership between the Kamianets-Podilskyi district in Ukraine and IFSW is moving forward. In the last week, a coordinator and support staff have been appointed, and two social workers have been contracted for the centre. With the assistance of community members, the family and children’s counselling rooms are also being prepared.
The aim of the Community Social Work Centre is to act as a one-stop-shop where the community members, including the many new internally displaced people, can gather to consider what systems need to be developed, what social services are needed, make appointments with social workers, volunteer medical practitioners, social trauma experts, organize activities for children, support vulnerable populations, utilize the skills in the community to form social businesses, as well as from mutual aid groups.
Funding from IFSW Europe has been utilised to boost local resources, the local social economy, and support social services during and after the invasion. IFSW European Regional President, Ana Radulescu said, ‘It is really important to work beyond the scope of humanitarian aid. Here we are utilising a social work approach of supporting local social enterprise, development of social support and services, enhancing employability by increasing opportunities and putting communities’ strengths to use and value. In addition to the community resources, social workers have been added to assist in resource activation’.
Community members gathered for the opening event of the centre and expressed their happiness that investment in children is now taking place. Refugee children from war zones and children from vulnerable family backgrounds received computer tablets so that they can start school this autumn. A local teacher will teach and support the children on how to use the tablets.
Михайло Сімашкевич, the President of the Kamianets-Podilsky district said, ‘The first project has already been achieved: tablets and schoolbags were offered to low-income families and displaced children in the Kamianets-Podilsky district. From now on these children will be able to learn online.
All involved agree that the first days of this partnership and cooperation have been very encouraging, and given people hope and confidence. The district officials, the community members and the professional social workers will work together finding solutions and building better futures now and in post-war conditions.
For more information, visit: https://www.ifsw.org/social-work-in-ukraine/