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University of Belize Celebrating “Buen Vivir: Shared Future for Transformative Change”

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2024. 2:56 pm CST.

March 19, 2024, Social Work Day

The Faculty of Health Sciences, Social Work Department of the University of Belize had an exciting opportunity to share this Social Work month with three Universities from the United States of America: Bridgewater State University, Rutgers University, and Bryn Mawr College.

We hosted and participated in seminars and agency visits during the first week, Bridgewater Master level Social Work students and University of Belize (UB) Bachelor students had a chance to network and collaborate. Seminar topics were presented by professors from Bridgewater, as well as guest lectures. Topics include poverty, children and families, protection and service for older adults, human rights, and diversity.

The social work department would like to thank representatives from the Statistics Institute of Belize, the Department of Human Services, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation, National Council of Ageing, United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and Bridgewater State University, Professor Kathy Bailey, and Professor Jing Tan, University of Belize, UB Lecturers, Ms. Karen Simplis & Mrs. Ava Pennill.

We are grateful to our social partners who opened their doors to us, Hand in Hand Ministries, Liberty Children’s Home, Sister Cecilia Home, and Kolbe Foundation.

We were excited to host and collaborate with Rutgers University during our second week. Rutgers University’s Bachelor of Social Work students and UB’s Bachelor of Social Work students participated in various lectures, including Sustainable Development and Trauma Informed Social Work Practitioners. It was a pleasure to have this diverse experience learning about the vast areas in which social workers work. Our agency visits included the Welcome Resource Center, Mental Health Association, Sister Cecelia Home, Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, The Hub, Community Rehabilitation Department, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation.

Ending our week with a seminar hosted by our visiting professor, Tamara Moss from Bryn Mawr College, was inspiring. Dr. Moss’s experience and research background in evaluation, community-based work with pregnant and parenting adolescents, LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive communities, and social work education and pedagogy enriched our seminar discussion.

Thank you to Dr. Moss for providing two seminars: Student Seminar, ‘Becoming a Trauma Informed Social Work Practitioner,’ and the Faculty and Public Seminar, ‘Trauma Informed and Culturally Responsive Teaching & Learning.’

You can view the recording here if you missed the opportunity to join us.


A special like to thank you to our faculty Ms. Karen Simplis, Mrs. Ava Pennill, Mr. Fermin Olivera & Mrs. Azalia Larrieu & our department secretary, Ms. Martha Jonch.

Prepared by: Azalia G. Larrieu, MSW, CCTS-I, Social Work Department Chair, and Martha Jonch, Faculty Secretary


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