Social Work 4 Peace (SW4P) is a network led by Professor Lena Dominelli at the University of Stirling, an expert in disaster intervention and humanitarian aid. Based at the university, the network is part of the Virtual Helpline for Disasters that social workers have activated during different natural disasters since 2010.
Supported by organisations including the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the network is currently helping courageous professionals and social work students who have remained in Ukraine and those forced to flee to safety.
SW4P will offer practical aid at local, national and international levels. It will also seek to prepare countries to welcome Ukrainian refugees, secure scholarships for social work students from Ukraine, and gather teaching materials to share with social work educators who are continuing lessons in bunkers as they shelter from the war.
Professor Dominelli, who is in regular contact with social workers in Ukraine, said:
“Despite the overwhelming hardship, suffering and grief caused by the war, Ukrainians remain strong and committed to defending their country. Social workers strive to meet basic needs, re-establish livelihoods and communities, restore people’s human rights, secure social and environmental justice, and build peace while enduring curfews and continuous Russian bombing."
How you can help
- SW4P will provide guidelines and training for social workers to work with the refugees/displaced people who come to the UK. Qualified and registered social workers are asked to volunteer with SW4P by submitting an application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-social workers are also welcome to apply, but they will be required to undergo vetting by the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure that those fleeing war will not be subjected to secondary trauma or institutional harm.
- Translation skills from English to Ukrainian or Russian are required to produce guidelines and other materials.
- Donations – you can support by donating to a humanitarian fund.
National Bank of Ukraine – the Ministry of Social Policy in Ukraine has set up an account for humanitarian aid.