In times of an emergency like the one we are currently experiencing I am wondering about the role social work as a profession can play and how it can better contribute to the inclusive development of Nepal. There is a common understanding that social work as such is not much of value and it is easily overlooked within the society despite the innumerable socio-economic challenges faced by the nation.
Juju Kaji Maharjan is the founder of Heartbeat, which was set up to advocate and campaign for the rights of street children. Since 2009, it has been working to provide education and healthy lifestyle to children and youngsters. Through the organization, he began various campaigns such as ‘Food For Education’, ‘Art for All’ and more. During the time of pandemic, Heartbeat is distributing lunch packets at the National Kidney Center and his organization is helping three local schools for lunch. He has received Youth Ambassador for peace by UPF in 2008 and Young Achievers awards in 2011 among others.
His talk was inspiring and people were keenly listening to him. He explained that the main motive of distributing the relief items was to support providing nutritious food to pregnant women which will help further development of a child.
Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to lead a skills lab for bachelor’s degree students of social work, trying to help them bridge the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge. There is no training that can make a youth completely ready for a job as only a continuous and engaging “on the job” experience can help her become the best she can be.
Today’s social structure is incredibly complex, and our societies are left with many more challenges: judicial, socio-economic, religious and psychological to mention a few. The most important workforces in helping us address these challenges are social workers. They have committed themselves to bringing a positive change in people who face various challenges in their social, economic and psychological spheres of life.
"While reflecting back into those years in Dolpa, I strongly feel that phase of my life has changed my outlook toward life. Every moment I realized what I have lost staying in Dolpa and what I have gained staying in Dolpa."