World Social Work DayAs the world observes World Social Work Day, President of the Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers (GAPSW), Arnold Mickle, said despite being agents of change, social work in Guyana has been battling to have the profession licensed, but to date, the situation remains the same.Some of the social workers at the luncheon“We are supposed to be change agents and from since the time I did my diploma (a number of years ago) we were trying to be licensed and until now we can’t change that position and we are change agents. Other professions have done that, long time ago and where are we? The only way the social work profession can be professionalised is when we as individuals professionalise it,” Mickle said.He added that despite hundreds of social workers graduating from the University of Guyana over the years, the GAPSW only has approximately 15 to 20 active members. He noted that number has to be changed while urging social workers to be proud of their profession.He urged the social workers to do everything to change the perception of the profession. Mickle added that there is a great need for the professionalising of the social work profession.“We would want to change the perception of those who graduate from UG. We need to change the mindset of our practitioners because many persons do not professionalise their practice. You must professionalise your service delivery so the rest of the world can know the magnitude and importance of the work you do,” Mickle urged.In observance of World Social Work Day, the Social Protection Ministry hosted a morning of reflection and luncheon for social workers across the country at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown. World Social Work Day is observed annually on March 20, and this year, the theme is “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability.”While delivering the keynote address, Permanent Secretary of the Social Protection Ministry, Lorene Baird noted that the theme is in keeping with the United Nations Strategic Development Goals as well as President David Granger’s green state development strategy.She, like others before her, noted that although social workers are highly trained and competent, their profession is quite often devalued owing to ignorance of the demands of their roles.“Although highly trained and competent, the sad reality is that the role of social workers can be lightened to that of an unglorified humanitarian who is always helping and extending themselves sometimes even at the risk of neglecting other personal areas of their lives. We are often guilty of devaluing their worth because social work is something seen as not being evaluated profession and people often underestimate what the profession entails,” Baird noted.“I would like to encourage social workers to continue being resilient and continue to fight for the change that you want to see as you endeavour to improve the wellbeing of society and the country as a whole,” she added.Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Social Services, Abike Benjamin-Samuels, said all over the world, social workers stand up every day for human rights and social justice to help strengthen communities adding that it is the broadest profession out there.Social Work Day is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession.
As promised, the Central Executive Committee of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) plans to meet today to commence discussions that will lead to the process by which the Party will select its next presidential candidate for the crucial 2020 General and Regional Elections.This was revealed during a press conference on Monday by Party General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo, who said that the PPP was sticking to its promises.“So tomorrow (today), we will try to set some timeline because we are meeting at the Party level, and we will see whether it makes sense to do it just before or just after the no-confidence motion,” he explained, noting that the 2019 Budget debatePPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeothrew the PPP off a bit on deciding on a process.He said that a decision on the presidential nominee would be made shortly. “And you will know our candidate. And we could very well be going to elections in the next three months, not just us,” he added, explaining that that tactic was implicit in the process.Asked whether the charges brought against former PPP/Civic Government Ministers Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ali would at all impact the decision to name either of the two, the General Secretary responded by saying, “If we allow the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change to decide who our candidates would be, they will charge every one of our potential candidates.”Jagdeo said the coalition Government’s intention was known, because it has made it known publicly. He said, “It is a pity that people can’t hear some of the conversations in Parliament. But the venom from (Khemraj) Ramjattan and the others saying openly you cannot … don’t talk here … or else the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) will visit you next week …”Jagdeo said he would throw his support behind anyone he found to have the ability to lead the Party to victory at the 2020 elections. Asked again who he would support, the PPP General Secretary said, “You could ask me if I’m supporting anyone and do you think I’ll come at a press conference and say who I am supporting? I’ll discuss that there at Party circles.”He maintained that the Party remained committed to the highest levels of transparency, accountability, and democracy as it undertook the process of selecting its next presidential nominee.Jagdeo said the race for the candidacy was open, as this has been a longstanding practice of the PPP. But reminded that the votes mustered from the 35 Central Committee members will matter in the democratic process. The front-runner will emerge as the candidate.There are several persons who are interested in being the Party’s top candidate including Nandlall, Ali, Gail Teixeira and Dr Frank Anthony.Meanwhile, the no-confidence motion filed against the Government by Jagdeo last month is set to be debated on Friday. Jagdeo had first announced the no-confidence motion on the heels of devastating losses in the Local Government Elections (LGE) for the coalition Government and went ahead to file the motion with the National Assembly on November 15, 2018.The PPP had contended the motion was lodged based on concrete reasons upon which the Guyanese people had rejected the People’s National Congress-led coalition. It pointed to the thousands of jobs that have been lost as a result of the closure of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates.In addition, the Party referred to the various scandals that have erupted under the Administration. They include the single sourcing of the feasibility contract for the new Demerara River crossing, the single sourcing of a drug bond and the single sourcing of drug procurement contracts.The Party further noted the numerous breaches of fiscal laws flagged by the Audit Office of Guyana in its reports, as well as the lack of accountability in the D’Urban Park Project, something even the Auditor General had to launch a special probe into.The General Election is constitutionally due in mid-2020.