Table of Contents
The Federative republic of Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country. In fact, it is the largest nation in South America; but despite this, Brazil experiences many social problems. These social problems have been caused mostly by the high inequality in distribution of resources (Font et. al., 2004). There is a huge gap between the poor and the rich. The main problematic areas include: health, work, education, HIV/AIDs and insecurity among others. This inequality in income distribution is the main contributing factor to, say crime. This is due to the fact that most people are very poor and have resorted to crime as their only way of survival.
What we learnt from our research
What we learnt from our research is that there are so many social problems that need to be addressed by social workers, both local and international. There are so many poor people in Brazil, especially those living in slum areas. In these places, there are high levels of environmental pollution, prostitution, insecurity, drug abuse. In addition, there is no proper population control, making it difficult for the residential areas to handle so many people. This serves to escalate the problems. Working in these places also becomes quite demanding and challenging.
There was no surprise at all in regards to the problems being faced in Brazil. In our research, we found out that there was an enormous gap between annual income for the poor and for the rich. For example, politicians, who work for only nine months, earn about US$ 24000 while most of the population earns peanuts, living hand to mouth.
Career in international social work
Our research has sparked a sudden interest in seeing international social work as a great thing to do. Actually it is a wonderful career that everyone who is willing to do good to society as a whole should pursue. International social work will instill in us values and skills of caring and empowerment. These will enable us to conduct certain activities in the society, both internationally and locally.
The activities that are encompassed in social working include: working in refugee camps and other areas (offering guidance and counseling), disaster relief during crises and handling international adoptions. Other activities are: doing research in regards to social problems and coming up with a way of improving the society; and coming up with international non-profit making organizations such as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. Doing these activities seems quite interesting (Healy, 1995, p. 1502).
It would be very fulfilling to actually see someone smile as a result of what you have done for them. On an individual level, becoming a social worker would make life more interesting. This is because social workers travel to places that were once very new to them and get to experience what life is like for the poor people in society. It brings with it some level of satisfaction that other jobs such as sitting in the office all day would not.
International social work as a career would require one to follow a certain path, in addition to having a passion for it. Some of the requirements must be self acquired, while most have to be learnt. Almost all colleges have a department dealing with social work. To, begin with, one must be technically strong in some areas of specialization. For example, if one wishes to work in non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross or the Red Crescent, it is necessary that he or she is trained properly on how to handle disasters as well as performing first aid procedures (Gibelman, 1995, p. 32).
Other skills required include cultural competence, interest in other different cultures and language proficiency. If one is travelling to a foreign country, say a French-speaking nation, he or she will be required to be fluent in the language so that communication will not be a barrier. Also, in order to become an international social worker, one must enjoy travelling and be able to adapt to changing environment (Gibelman, 1995, p. 33).
The whole group’s experience
For the group, the research was a learning experience. We were able to learn more about Brazil and the social problems they are facing. It was also fun working with a colleague as opposed to working individually. The research has added value to us in terms of developing skills in working with others, as well as opened our eyes to international social work. We have also developed interest in one day pursuing a career in social working as well.
a) Mona Lewis
What I learnt about myself is that I can work as a social worker. The research was only but an eye opener. It put in me a sudden desire to help people who are somehow unlucky in society. Working in a group was fun, and for me it was not challenging. What I would change about myself is that I will start working more with my friends instead of working alone, which I am used to.
b) Constance Wilson
What I learnt about myself is that I am good at research. In my opinion, working in groups makes work a lot easier. It helps us gain more from the work, since we discuss a point thoroughly before accepting its truth or drawing a conclusion. The main challenge was that there were a lot of sources to get information from, but we had to get information from only the best since we couldn’t be able to read everything; we had to choose. As a result of this experience, what I would change is my attitude towards social work. I did not appreciate it much, but now I do, and would actually be interested in becoming a social worker in future.
Roles of members
When it came to research, Constance was the lead researcher whereby she offered insights into what to do and what not to do. Although most of the matters were discussed forehand, here experience and performance in research warranted her to be the guide. Case in point, we had very many sources that could be used in the research. To avoid using obsolete material or ones which did not fit the area in which our framework narrowed to, he established a criterion for evaluating a qualified resource to be used. That gave focus to our research.
Mona Lewis’ responsibility was to research on the format of the paper. Since most of the work regarding research was done by Constance, Mona was the one given the responsibility of typing the work and organizing so that it will be presentable.