By Juliana Kabba
Social Workers Sierra Leone (SWSL) on Thursday October 19 commenced a two-day training of trainers session on psychosocial counseling.
The training being held in the conference hall of Don Bosco in Freetown, is designed to upgrade the skills of social workers.
Over 20 people, both practicing social workers and social work students drawn from various colleges, including the Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone (USL) and Milton Margai, are participating in the training which focused on Forgiveness, Gratitude and Appreciation (FGA).
FGA is a psychosocial tool designed by the LemonAid Fund, a US-based partner organization of SWSL, which aims at promoting forgiveness.
Hassan Koroma, Founder and Coordinator of SWSL, said the training is geared towards preparing social workers and social work students to work with people to find solutions to their problems.
“There is a lot of issues in our society, like drug abuse and poverty issues, and social workers are the right people to help society deal with these issues,” he said.
SWSL is a non-governmental organization that provides psychosocial support for vulnerable groups of people and those dealing with traumatic experiences. The group, which comprises mainly social work volunteers, also seeks to promote the social work profession, with the goal of promoting social change, development, cohesion and the empowerment of people and communities.
Koroma said this training is part of an ongoing initiative designed to train trainers with the goal of multiplying social workers with the required skillsets to deal with psychosocial issues in society.
“Primarily we support professional development to equip the skillsets of social workers, especially apprentice social workers,” Koroma said, adding: “Social work is all about promoting the wellbeing of individuals, families and groups, so social workers need to understand the practical side of it.”
Koroma used the occasion to call on government to fast-track efforts in promoting the social work profession in the country.
“We are still struggling to be recognized as professionals, which is undermining the profession itself. We are calling on the government to speed up ongoing discussions around the passing of the social work bill,” he said.
One of the trainees, Comfort Moiba, said that the training will help her and her colleagues to build more confidence and skills on how social workers are to attend to clients and promote self care.
Ms Moiba encouraged other social workers in the country to continue serving humanity.
Another participant, Abdul Aziz Kanu, expressed hope that Social Workers Sierra Leone will continue providing such trainings, noting that it’s beneficial to them as social workers.
Kanu expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to SWSL for organizing the training.