Bridge

E V E L Y N E

S H A M B A R E

I am a recent MA Social Work graduate. I chose a career in Social Work after becoming a mother and realising how difficult it can be raising a child. The African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” became abundantly clear. I realised not everyone is lucky to have a ‘village’ and I wanted to become part of a profession which symbolises a ‘village’.
I recognised how living in a society riddled with inequality, racism and austerity can be challenging for disadvantaged children and families. 

I want to be an advocate for disadvantaged children and families, to recognise and support their strengths. My passion lies in bringing about hopefulness, particularly to racially minoritized communities who often face racism, oppression and disempowerment within a society which is supposed to accept and support them.  

I chose this Bridge Image because …

… this symbolic image resonates with me, as I see the bridge as representing understanding, guidance, hope and empowerment. This image captures the journey for services users and social workers. The gap embodies the challenges and barriers faced by service users. They get on this bridge seeking to reach the other side, a new start from feeling defeated and to seek hope. Social work acts as the vessel that moves service users from one side to the other. It supports and guides them, but it’s important to note that the bridge is not mystical, there may very well be other ‘gaps’ services users face in their journey. In time, and with the guidance and support of social workers, service users make it to the other side. 

Bridges do not end suddenly, they transition smoothly into a different path, this represents hope, resilience and empowerment. Our role is to support people to navigate through the cultural, financial and class barriers. 

This image perfectly encapsulates the values and ethics of social justice, equality, human rights, integrity, compassion, helpfulness and empowerment espoused by the profession. 

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