First, a little background on the program I am working on at Chatham University:
A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) major at any accreditd university is required to master generalist practice. The Council on Social Work Education is Chatham's accrediting body, and insists that students who graduate from the university be able to demonstrate an ability to work in the field, act to professional standards, and really know what it means to be a social worker. Part of this process is completing some field work, including a 12-credit, 500 hour field placement that is completed over the course of a BSW's fourth year in college. This field placement allows students to complete the program at an accelerated rate, chiseling off as much as a year's worth of university study, while expanding that student's range of experience.
My long-term goal is to work in direct practice, that is, working directly with individuals, rather than in a more community-oriented setting. I am interested in gender equality, and would love someday to act as a therapist.
Why the Friends?
Like many Americans, the need in Haiti was brought dramatically to my attention with the earthquake of this past January. However, working with the Friends has been my more formal introduction to Haiti and Haitian issues, and I am learning a lot. I have long held great interest in helping others, especially those in great need. Haiti needs help, and I am so happy to be on board!
My work so far...
I feel like I have already done so much in my two weeks here! My time thus far has been spent researching possible energy sources that might be used at HAS, including solar ovens. I'm also researching water filtration systems and humanure, or the compost that is created from human waste matter. In addition, I'm helping find new members for the Friends' charity team for the Pittsburgh Marathon, and brainstorming new ideas for possible projects in collaboration with organizations like Chatham.
Oh! And, this Saturday, I will be selling Haitian crafts and metal pieces at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre, from 11 am to 5 pm, and will be doing the same on Tuesday the 14th at Chatham's library lobby from 10 am to 3 pm. Please come out and join us!