Saturday 14 December 2019 – Jdeideh Al-Bouchrieh Al-Sad
The Syndicate held a press conference on Saturday, December
14, 2019 at the Jdeideh Al-Bouchrieh Al-Sad Municipality at 12 noon. A large
number of social workers attended as well as representatives of private and
public universities, associations and unions. In her speech, President Nadia
Badran addressed the syndicate’s position on the current situation in the
country and a session of discussion and questions followed. Badran emphasized
that the profession of “Specialist in Social work in Lebanon” stands for “the
cause is the human being, where we share as professionals the suffering and
we unite to find opportunities”.
She stressed that everyone: “Citizens, professionals,
groups, communities and people, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, teenagers,
youth, adults and the elderly, each of whom has his own suffering; hunger,
poverty, deprivation, pain, inequality and unknown destiny are the factors that
unite them. Hence, is anyone listening?”
She added “it has been a while that the voices began
to rise... They are screams of multitude demands. “Did we participate or not”,
“we objected or agreed”... As a matter of fact, we all agree that our society is
collapsing, on the economic, social, health, educational institutions and the judicial
institutions levels; does anyone respond?” What are we witnessing today
in Lebanon are the painful and rightful demands, so what is our role?
Since this conference coincided with World Human
Rights Day, the syndicate wanted to reiterate, “human rights are one,
indivisible and unrelated to identity, age, gender or political stands, etc.
Since these rights are fundamental and priority in social work as they are not
only the basic course of the code of ethics and professional ethics, they are
integral to the definition of our profession, so we must ask, where are we
from the application process…? “
She wondered about the fate of social support,
particularly in-kind social assistance, which is scarce, and if any existed, it
is not able to meet the needs that are multiplying day by day. This harsh reality
puts each “social work specialist in Lebanon” in bitterness and responsibility
at the same time. The basic needs such as food, drink, clothing, housing and “breathing”,
which are essential, are being eroded; depriving anyone of these needs is an act
of holding back one’s empowerment and advancement. We are entrusted of following
up, accompanying, caring and providing support to the vulnerable, the
marginalized, and the poor and the special cases, especially the forgotten ones
in order to alleviate their suffering. She added, “The professionals need to
address these basic needs and move in more than one direction, as this is at
the core of our competence and profession since the inception of social work in
Lebanon more than 70 years ago”.
“We have pledged! We are called upon to take our
professional responsibility to calm hearts and souls, protect the vulnerable,
respond to the problems of the people, the families, the communities and
institutions, and to quickly intervene in order to restrain the repercussions...”
“Our mission is difficult! What complicates it
further is that we are also experiencing problems that are shaking our
stability on personal and family level; our personal suffering intersects with
the suffering of the beneficiaries from the institutions we work with. However,
out of our professional duty, which is needed today more than ever, we try to
hold on to support the institutions we work with in order to carry on with their
work of caring and giving; these institutions are aware that we are always the advocates
of the cause we are working for.”
As President of this syndicate, I
appealed to all concerned, the caretaker government and the future governments,
whatever they may be... to assume their responsibilities,
today before tomorrow, and to develop an emergency plan to take care of the
human being as we are in dire need of responding to life’s needs, which are
multiple. She offered to help while saying, "As social workers in Lebanon,
we put our knowledge and competencies in disposal." She called on the
international community, especially donor institutions, to provide support to
civil society organizations, and other institutions in Lebanon, in order to
be able to address humanitarian issues (social, economic and health) and
rearrange the priorities of programs and projects to meet basic primary needs.
She stressed on the stakeholders among international donor institutions and along
local institutions’ participation, to set controls that contribute to the
implementation of programs in order to achieve the desired objectives.
Our country, with all its institutions,
and the international community are accountable for "responding to the
national agenda". We, by virtue of our
specialization, each of our professionals, and from his responsible position,
can participate in the design of strategic plans to meet the various humanitarian
needs and address the dangerous spillovers.
In our profession, we are called "the movers
and "the initiators", "the seekers of change and
development" and "defenders of justice", we are professionals
who trust peace, seek justice and trust the other. Social justice is not an illusion
or an unfulfilled dream; we are not dreamers but practical professionals.
Believing that the protector of this profession is a specialist professional
who seeks to apply a set of human, democratic and professional values by
following the principles of the work he trained on.
Today, we are more than ever aware that we are
united in everything we accomplish, through a profession that brings us
together, where our voice will remain one on humanitarian issues despite
difficulties of all kinds and no matter what our affiliations might be. We ask
ourselves to show our solidarity in all circumstances, because "our
profession is a distinct social profession whose cause is the human being".
This is how countries are built.
We all live in a country that will remain
as long as we are united under the roof of rights and law.
Long live Lebanon
Social workers’ Syndicate in Lebanon