Social Work Academic Presents Research at International Conference in Kenya

UKZN’s Dr Thembelihle Makhanya at Maasai Mara University in Kenya.
UKZN’s Dr Thembelihle Makhanya at Maasai Mara University in Kenya.

Social Work academic Dr. Thembelihle Makhanya presented her research at an international conference as part of the inauguration of the Association of Social Work Educators in Kenya (ASWEK).

The conference was held at Maasai Mara University in Narok, Kenya.

Makhanya’s paper, titled: Sustainable Community Development through Decolonial Social Work Education: A South African Perspective, examined how sustainable development can be obtained by practising social work principles as well as explaining the influence of colonialisation on current social work education and practice.

Said Makhanya: ‘As South Africa celebrates 28 years of democracy, most of its citizens lives are still characterised by injustices of the past and they continue to experience and witness colonial legacies, which call for transformation.’

Makhanya said social work was a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promoted social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.

‘Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversities are central to social work and are the requirements of decolonial community development. If sustainable development is to be underpinned by theories of social work, people’s wellbeing will be enhanced through structural transformations, because social work engages people and structures to address life challenges,’ said Makhanya.

She was presented with a certificate by Dr. Wilkins Ngege Muhing of the Maasai Mara University.


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