College of Humanities

UKZN Social Work Discipline Renews Internationalisation for Building Competencies Project

Social Work Senior lecturer, Dr Maud Mthembu, recently hosted Professor Michael Boecker from Fachhochschule Dortmund University, Germany, and Dr Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, as part of the Internationalisation for Building Competencies project (IFBC) – a partnership between UKZN, Fachhochschule Dortmund University, the University of Johannesburg, and Midlands State University, Zimbabwe.

The Project has been renewed for another three years (2023-2026) and is a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)-funded collaboration between the four universities with the goal of incepting, testing, implementing and establishing new modules with theory-practise-reference and trans-disciplinary components.

‘This project aims to promote students and lecturers exchange, strengthen field practice for Social Work students, and develop joint postgraduate curricula between UKZN and Germany. Professor Boecker delivered an online lecture to first-year Social Work students and met with Social Work staff to discuss the newly DAAD funded project,’ explained Mthembu.

She also presented the Gandhi Settlement Trust and Gandhi Development Trust with her Uhambo Lwami books. The book uses illustrations and simple language to tell the story of Nsimu, a 10-year-old child whose family was affected by COVID-19 and the impact the disease had on the family. The story is told from Nsimu’s perspective and is intended for children aged six years and above.

‘We are grateful to DAAD and Fachhochschule University for the financial support received while we were writing the book,’ said Mthembu.

The Gandhi Trust will be distributing the books to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers and schools in Bhambayi, Inanda, Durban. ‘This will also allow us to initiate discussions for collaborative work with the Social Work Discipline such as fieldwork practice for Social Work students and community engagement projects,’ said Mthembu.