New Scholarship for Palliative Care Training for Social Workers in Africa Will Enhance the Lives of Those Living with AIDS and Other Life-Threatening
Scholarship Made Possible Through Endowment by NASW
For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2012
(Alexandria, VA) In sub-Saharan Africa, where access to health care services and pain management is scarce, far too many with AIDS and other life-threatening conditions such as cancer are living with physical and emotional suffering, stigma, poverty and isolation. FHSSA, in partnership with the African Palliative Care Association, has created a new scholarship to support training social workers in hospice and palliative care in Africa.
The scholarship, the Dr. Bernice Catherine Harper African Social Work Scholarship Fund, is made possible through a generous endowment from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and funds raised through FHSSA, was established in honor of social work pioneer and FHSSA’s founding president, Bernice Catherine Harper.
“Social workers play a critical role in providing palliative care services,” said Fatia Kiyange, programmes director for APCA. “In African countries where poverty is rampant, people often don’t have income to meet basic needs such as good, housing, treatment or school fees for children. Social workers help them meet those needs and act as a bridge between the patient, the family, the health care team and the social care system.”
NASW has raised $20,000 for the initiative, which will be used to fund five scholarships for courses in palliative care. The courses will include both theoretical training and first-hand clinical experience and will be offered by universities in cooperation with hospice programs across Africa. The goal is that the scholarship recipients will disseminate what they have learned and advocate for social work in palliative care curricula.
“Given our shared mutual interests in the humanitarian crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, we saw an opportunity to work together and benefit from an ongoing exchange of information on relevant issues and collaboration on possible activities that will support our missions,” said Elizabeth Clark, Ph.D., ACSW, MPH, executive director of NASW.
APCA has reviewed and chosen the first round of recipients who begin begin training and education activities this summer.
Jen Ford, Director, Communications – Philanthropy