APPEAR in practice_5

PROSOWO team
The Art of Promoting Social Work in East Africa. Book Presentation and Reflection on a Trans-Cultural Partnership

APPEAR in practice

APPEAR in practice invites project partners to reflect on and discuss their experiences referring to a specific topic in the project implementation process of their partnerships. The PROSOWO project is a trans-cultural partnership between four East-African and one Austrian higher education institution that combines empirical research, curriculum development, political advocacy and capacity building for social work education. At this event, a comprehensive book on social work in East Africa will be presented and discussed by the authors.

Panellists

  • Zena Mabeyo Lecturer at the Institute of Social Work in Tanzania, national project coordinator
  • Charles Rutikanga Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda, College of Arts and Social Sciences, national project coordinator
  • Helmut Spitzer Professor at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Austria, Department of Social Work, overall project coordinator
  • Janestic Mwende Twikirize Lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, national project coordinator
  • Gidraph Gachunga Wairire Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Department of Sociology and Social Work, regional project coordinator
  • Antoinette Lombard External adviser to the project, professor at University of Pretoria in South Africa, Head of Department of Social Work & Criminology

Programme

  • Welcoming Remarks: Andreas Obrecht, OeAD-GmbH, Head of APPEAR programme
  • Opening Address: Robert Zeiner, Austrian Development Agency, Head of Programmes and Projects International
  • Book Presentation: Honouring speech by Antoinette Lombard, University of Pretoria
  • Plenary Discussion: See panellists above
  • Social Event: Discussion followed by drinks, food and Ugandan live music by Jenny Bell

Chair: Téclaire Ngo Tam, Südwind

Event documentation

On 12 November 2014 the achievements of the APPEAR project PROSOWO - Promotion of Professional Social Work towards Social Development and Poverty Reduction in East Africa were celebrated within the framework of the event series APPEAR in practice. Almost three years after launching PROSOWO all five project partners came together for a book presentation tour all over Austria the team members  were invited to discuss the project in general and the book in particular. The book with the title “Professional Social Work in East Africa – Towards Social Development, Poverty Reduction and Gender Equality” is the first of its kind to provide first-hand theoretical and empirical evidence about social work in East Africa.

The evening was opened by Andreas Obrecht, the Head of the APPEAR programme, who drew attention to two major events that were taking place simultaneously. One was the Rosetta mission with the landing of Philae on a comet and the other one was APPEAR in practice_5.  Both events are characterized by the travel through space and time. This analogy was drawn over and over again by the panellists. Andreas Obrecht was followed by Robert Zeiner, Head of Programmes and Projects International at the Austrian Development Agency, who informed the audience about the success of the APPEAR programme.

The official presentation of PROSOWO and the book was given by Antoinette Lombard from the University of Pretoria, who served as a special adviser to the project. In her speech she gave an overview of the project’s aims, the milestones that have been reached, as well as some information on the book. She did this by quoting some of the authors and hence offered a short preview of the book.

At the beginning of the panel discussion the project team members stated their personal achievements with regard to the project. They agreed on the friendly environment that was established within the past three years. Another similarity in their statements could be found in the newly established South-South partnership. Some of them had never met before and they were not used to work with institutions in their neighbouring countries but rather to work with other Northern partner institutions. The possibility to start a regional partnership and to work on curricula, concepts and research that meet the regional demands was pointed out as one of the major milestones of the project.

During the discussion the audience got the chance to ask the panellists questions about their specific part in the project, the project as such, their perception on so-called equal partnerships between North and South, and about possibilities for students to participate in exchange programmes. More than 120 participants joined this event. Social Work, North-South academic partnerships and possibilities for students’ involvement in higher education projects seem to be topics of high interest; not only for students and professionals active in the field of social work, but also for a broader audience.