Associations of social workers from BiH, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Croatia signed on Tuesday in Sarajevo the Memorandum on Regional Cooperation. The aim of this Memorandum is improvement of social protection services in the region.
The conference in Sarajevo was organized on the occasion of World Social Work Day, and supported by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event was initiated by the associations of social workers from BiH under the name “Challenges of social work in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The conference was concluded on Tuesday afternoon in Sarajevo.
“Regardless of the commendable engagement of social workers, an ineffective system of social protection does not allow sufficient and adequate support for all those in need. Cooperation between associations of social workers, the academic community and institutions is the key to positive change, which can only come as a result of their joint efforts”, said the Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Ambassador, Jonathan Moore, in his address to participants.
President of the Federation of the BiH Association of Social Workers, Mirnes Telalovic, said that the conference presented an opportunity for dialogue and exchange of experiences.
“I am honoured that Bosnia and Herzegovina is hosting this conference gathering associations of social workers from the region. I hope that this practice will continue in the future”, Telalovic said.
President of the Republika Srpska Association of Social Workers, Srdjan Baralic, stressed that issues in the area of social protection do not respect borders. As he said, it is important for professionals in this sector to unite their efforts and capacities to address those issues, as well as to apply for European projects and programmes.
Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Displaced Persons and Refugees of Canton Sarajevo, Amela Dautbegovic, expressed her respect for social workers’ efforts to help those who need it most, and are on the margins of society. She stressed that she was aware that social workers in their work often are trying to break the walls. She emphasized that it is the fact that citizens’ needs are constantly increasing, and the resources to provide adequate support are limited.
“For your efforts and work you don’t receive awards, although the number of people that you have helped is large. They are grateful for that”, Dautbegovic said.
The OSCE Mission to BiH said in its press release that it will continue to enhance the capacities of social protection professionals to improve the reach and effectiveness of their services and their capacity to advocate for needed legislative and policy changes./IBNA