Ubuntu: I am Because We are – Strengthening Social Solidarity and Global Connectedness.

World Social Work Day is celebrated all round the world each March. The theme this year is Ubuntu: ‘I am Because We are’. It is a powerful message on the need for solidarity at all levels: within communities, societies and globally.

Ubuntu originates from the indigenous peoples of South Africa and was popularized across the world by Nelson Mandela. It’s a concept and philosophy that resonates with the social work and independent reviewing officer perspective about the interconnectedness of all peoples and their environments speaking as it does to the need for global solidarity.

Located within a framework of human rights and social justice, NIROMP seeks to contribute to policy and practice understandings. The principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversities are central to social work and the independent reviewing officer role. We are proud of our continued efforts to connect people and to challenge structures, to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing. Never has this need to connect and to see the value of our interconnectedness been so true as during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted many existing social and economic inequalities facing minoritized and marginalised groups.

A huge part of NIROMP’s strategic vision and priorities and influencing role comes through building connections. Regionally and nationally, we continue to invest our energies into relationships as part of our connecting peoples to create change. And what we’re increasingly finding is a whole range of people who can potentially help and who want to help, and crucially that there is a lot of joint potential and joint benefits to us working together in meeting our shared aims.

So, we are thankful to all social workers and independent reviewing officers for your continued efforts to nurture relationships.

“My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.”

– Desmond Tutu

We can all think of people who encapsulate the humanity aspect of ‘Ubuntu’. Through nurturing connections, we strengthen existing assets and uncover possibilities for people to create joint solutions.

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