On Sunday the 18th of November the organization I work for was invited to come and be partof the church service at St Johns’ Anglican Church in Wynberg. The aim was to have a presentation around the work that we do with female street children and those at risk of becoming street children. It was all in line with the message for that day which was focusing on God’s Redemptive Love and Power. God provides healing and hope and as such the congregation wanted a presentation of how our organization was
providing hope and healing for girls between 0-18 years of age. I was chosen to go and represent the organisation.
As I arrived at the church it was a bit nerve wrecking to see members of the senior generation making up the majority of the congregation. I thought, oh my! How am I going to make a worthwhile presentation with no one my age in sight? It was a bit daunting because I did not think anyone would take me seriously but I just put on my best smile that says I am confident in what I am about to share with you. It ended up being the best presentation I have ever done because the people were so pleasant, attentive and so polite. They even asked questions after I was done.I was treated like a valued guest and really reminded myself that appearances are not everything.
So I spoke about the work that I do as social worker at the organization. I had to give a bit of background on how I ended up doing social work and for how long. It was a nice personal touch which made me comfortable. I had quite a big crowd to present to but they took breaks in between so in one I had about 20 people to speak to. I realized how much I love speaking about my work; trust me when I started talking I did not want to stop. I was in my element; this is what I do and what I am passionate about. So I guess it showed because my audience was pleased. I gave a brief account of the struggles of dealing with street children or potential street children, particularly teenagers. This includes the drugs, the suicide attempts, the truancy, the runaways, the disrespect, the emotional trauma just to name a few. I gave a brief case study of a 12 year old girl who had been trafficked from the DRC and dumped in Cape Town after the trafficker had gotten tired of her. She now had to live in the street and this is how our organization got to hear of her plight and took her in.
I could see the crowd empathizing and understanding the depth of the work. The crowd was also feeling for the young children who are forced into adulthood due to their circumstances. In the end I got everyone to see that there are children in need of care out there and as much one child can be assisted to live a normal life you are making a huge difference. I managed to sell two books just by my presentation because it moved some people to want to know more. (My Director wrote a book documenting some of the stories and journeys of the children who have passed through the organization over the years).
I realized part of being a social worker is to be able to advocate for the profession, feel that pride for it and be able to speak on behalf of it. It is such a worthy profession and I loved the message of giving hope and redemption to those who are lost or on the path of destruction. So social work in a huge way spreads the gospel of love and supports the work of Christ.
I just beamed when one of the church ladies suggested I must need a glass of water after such a presentation,LOL. And yes I had given it my all and spoke for about 40 minutes so I was parched. The bouquet of roses i received as a “thank you” was also very welcome…
Looking forward to more opportunities to marvel in the joy of sharing social work.
Until then…stay blessed.