The African continent, as we all know, is extremely troubled. It is characterised by extreme poverty, political instability, civil unrest and a host of other negative attributes associated with it. Constant bloodshed is another of its’ major problems, but the methods used to alleviate these problems are according to me unsatisfactory.
I believe that group-work practice is essential within an African context. I also believe that psychiatric social work is a must and realistically speaking, within this context in which we live; group work is far more viable than individual case studies. Along with the food aid sent; the world should also seriously consider sending social services practitioners, who would assist in facilitating the groups. It should also be considered that people can be trained to do it themselves, if empowered to do so. The negative attributes associated with Africa do have a powerful psychological effect on our people- many of whom are forced to deal with death on a daily basis, be it death from extreme poverty, conflict, HIV/AIDS or any of its other major causes.
However, we who are more fortunate, should not just stand back and leave it to governments and international organisations to ‘fix’ things. As civil society, we too have a role to play is positive change is to be created in Africa. Not having money should not be used as an excuse for not doing anything, we all have some skill or could even use our time and training to share with others to create change. After all, do we not all deserve a chance at self-actualisation? Do we not all need the light of hope in the darkness surrounding us?
It won’t be easy, but where there is life, there’s hope and Africa still has lots of life in it…