Tehila was priviledged to be part of the celebrations of the World Social Work Day in Zambia on the 18 March. It was a day to celebrate this long standing profession across the globe. To appreciate social workers for the incredible and diverse work that they are involved in.
This year the theme was to ‘promote the dignity and worth of peoples’.
Therefore, SWAZ mobilised social work practitioners and students around Zambia to take part in community service in various projects.
Sam and I found ourselves visiting child prisoners in the remand centre in Lusaka. We sat and spoke to many children who are in prison waiting to hear the outcome of their court cases.
We were comforted that the men and boys were held separately but shocked as we heard how 90% of the boys we saw had been in prison before. We spoke to one boy who was incarcerated for stealing £1!
A general concern for them was the lack of food in prison and the overcrowded living conditions. We were told there was one toilet for 200 adult inmates!
Many did not seem to know how long they would be there or what was happening with their case. A lack of information and a lack of a voice in their situation.It was hard to see the small space in which 50 young boys spend all day with no education or activities. It was hard to witness.
Yet the passion of the social workers with whom we visited was apparent. To want to see a difference and to advocate on these prisoners behalf.
Tehila works with many stakeholders to build the capacity of SWAZ. If social work professional practice and training is regulated and supported, this will ultimately mean better protection and services for the vulnerable children in this country.
Please continue to support and pray for us as we move forward.
Thanks and love