Social Work Diversity Showcase

India street scene

Diversity Showcase

Tanzanian boy collecting water
A boy in Shirati, Tanzania in East Africa collects water.

As part of its Spring Diversity Showcase, the School of Social Work is holding two presentations that are free and open to the public.

The first event addresses: How does one do effective development work in a remote and impoverished area of the world?

The second event answers the question: How does one prepare oneself for social work practice in international settings?

Water, sanitation and hygiene education in rural Tanzania

Wednesday, March 25, 4-5:30 p.m., Clark C, Room 146

This presentation will help you understand the role of participatory development and community health workers in effective development work. Erna Maj, M.A., will discuss and show pictures of Maji Safi Group’s innovative work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene education in rural Tanzania and relate key issues to the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the U.N.

A look at effective development work

Tanzania is an East African country of about 50 million that faces severe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) problems.

hand-washing instruction in Tanzania
Hand-washing instruction in Shirati, a remote area of Tanzania near the shores of Lake Victoria.

In Shirati, a remote and impoverished area on the shores of Lake Victoria, 99 percent of all drinking water comes from sources contaminated with dangerous levels of pathogens. In addition, there is a severe lack of sanitation, and open defecation is still widespread.

The Maji Safi Group (Clean Water Group in Swahili) was founded in 2014 with the vision that the occurrence of preventable diseases can be reduced through WASH education.

To reach this goal, Maji Safi Group uses an innovative participatory development model and works closely with community health workers and local stakeholders to promote proper WASH behavioral practices and create an understanding of public health and disease prevention.

In the U.S., Maji Safi Group strives to create awareness of the global WASH crisis and raise funds to support their on-the-ground programs in Shirati.

India: Social problems, cultural context, developmental priorities 

Monday, March 30, Noon-1 p.m., Education Building, Room 105

Shannon Hughes, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Work, will discuss current social issues in India, emphasizing a culturally sensitive understanding of the social functions of traditions and practices different from our own. The presentation will help you understand cultural differences to effectively engage in social work practice in international settings.