Thursday, January 27, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

MI Social Worker Spearheads Effort for Post-Conflict Syria

Play

Monday, January 11, 2016   

LANSING, Mich. – The Syrian conflict is a monumental humanitarian crises with decades of social and human development lost since it began in 2011.

A Michigan social worker is spearheading a plan to rebuild the country.

Social workers are the backbone of civil society, says Marijo Upshaw of Detroit, who is a member of National Association of Social Workers-Michigan.

So she and her Syrian-born husband had an idea to train Syrians in the field. She explains that Syrian social workers, as opposed to those from other countries, would have knowledge of what's happening on the ground.

"Half of the country is living in extreme poverty,” she points out. “Fifty percent of Syrian children are out of school. The health care institution and educational system are in absolute crisis. Half of the hospitals in Syria have been damaged if not completely destroyed."

Upshaw discovered the International Community Action Network (ICAN) program at McGill University in Montreal, which trains Middle Eastern activists in rights-based social work practices.

Together they launched a project to establish the profession of social work in Syria. The initial goal is to recruit and train 24 Syrian nationals.

Funds were privately raised to train the first fellow at McGill in the fall of 2014. Upshaw says it's an engineer-turned-activist who faced dire circumstances fleeing Syria.

"He had to walk four days by foot, in cars and caravans that carry animals,” she relates. “At one point he had to walk through ISIS country. He was detained by ISIS. He was released and he made it into Turkey and had to spend a week recuperating physically."

The program cannot currently get into Syria, but is working to establish training in nearby Jordan. The trained fellows eventually will build a social work academic program inside Syria post-conflict.

Upshaw says Syrians are willing to fight for their basic dignity and freedom, but need more support.

"One of the things that was so sad to see in this recent crisis is the Syrian people who've been the victims over the last four years have now been re-victimized by some of the policies in the United States – some of the anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiment," she states.

About 11 million Syrians have been forcibly displaced and nearly 250,000 killed in the conflict.




get more stories like this via email

Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…


Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…


By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …

Environment

New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021