Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” South African families and communities are facing many challenges. This essay will focus on poverty as one of the challenges in some South African families and communities in general. Using the issue of poverty, will clarify and give a better understanding on how, social workers could respond to this matter. In the international definition of social work, “the social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments (IFSW, 2012).
Before addressing the situation at hand, social workers need to firstly recognize poverty in South Africa and why it is happening. Such as the factors of why people are living in poverty, these factors include but are not limited to lack of education, inequality and unemployment. Poverty is “the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.” (Merriam-Webster, 2012) Many South African’s are dealing with the situation of poverty not by choice but because of their community and their surroundings. Looking further into poverty in South Africa and some of the causes gives a better understanding on where social workers can apply their own knowledge in aiding in an improved way of living. Rather than looking at poverty as a whole, breaking it down and tackling situations leading up to poverty will provide an all-around enhanced response from social workers.
If education fails to improve the issues faced in South Africa will remain and will not progress in anyway. Currently, South Africa’s education system is ranked 133rd out of 142 countries by the World Economic Forum. This ranking has basically put South Africa’s education system as