By: Sheila Pires
Religious Sisters, Representatives from Catholic Charity Organisations, Professors from different countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America, Social workers and students from the German University of Wurzburg gathered at Padre Pio Conference Centre for a four-day symposium on International Migration.
The symposium entitled Strengthening South-South Dialogue on Global Migration is hosted by the SACBC Dennis Hurley Peace Institute in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Wurzburg-Scheinfurt (FHWS) (Germany), the Scalabrini Centre for Migratory Studies in Brazil, University of Johannesburg, and University of Pretoria.
The symposium financed by Misereor aims to support and enhance North-South as well as South-South exchanges of academics, students and organizations working in the field of social work and (forced) migration.
During the first week of the symposium from May 23 to 26, Scalabrini Religious Sisters together with Professors and social workers addressed various topics regarding global migration, namely: Social Work and Decolonization, Recovering Traces of Global Social Policy Otherwise: The Non-Aligned Movement and the New International Economic Order, Interrogating Migration and Social Transformation, Social Security Exclusions in the Wake of a Deadly Covid Pandemic, The War in Northern Mozambique: A Political-Economy Analysis, Experiences of working with people on the move in Mozambique from church actors, Xenophobic attacks against migrants in South Africa. How to create solidarity in a divided society? Social work remedies for the crisis in southeast Nigeria: Rebalancing the wheels of internal displacement and irregular migration, Refugee policy and practice in Uganda, War Induced Displacement, and its Impact on the Human Living: The Current Situation in Ethiopia, COVID-19 Safety measures and Socioeconomic Status in Urban Zimbabwe.
During the second part of the symposium from May 26 to June 02, the 14 students specializing in international social work from the University of Wurzburg (Germany) who are in South Africa for the international winter/summer school, will be placed with refugee families in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Another highlight of the symposium was the launch of two books, namely.
“Migration and Social Transformation: Engaged Perspectives” which was presented by Professor Tanja Kleibl from the University of Applied Sciences Wurzburg-Scheinfurt (FHWS) (Germany) and Sr Maria do Carmo dos Santos Gonçalves Director of the Scalabrinian Center for Migratory Studies – (CSEM)
The other book launched during the symposium was “The Coronavirus Crisis and Challenges to Social Development: Global Perspectives” presented by Janestic Twikirizi from Makerere University, Uganda.