Guam – University of Guam Social Work Students from the SW-400 “Fields of Social Work Practice: Social Work in Chuuk” class recently facilitated a “Mother-Daughter Conference”, in partnership with the Chuuk Women’s Council on the island of Weno, Chuuk.
The class presented on topics related to motherhood, daughterhood, life skills and discussed issues facing women. In addition, class members participated in a cultural sharing session with administrators, faculty, and students at the College of Micronesia, Chuuk campus. The evening entailed a cultural food sharing, as well as a presentation from social work students about the University of Guam, funding education at UOG, and the social work profession.
[Members of the University of Guam’s Social Work program performed outreach services in Weno, Chuuk as part of a “Fields of Social Work Practice: Social Work in Chuuk” class]
This social work travel course was designed to help students become familiar with the Chuukese worldview, cultural value system, historical experience, and other dimensions of life to deliver culturally responsive and competent social work services to Chuukese clients. “This class was planned in alignment with our university’s regional commitment to Micronesia and in an effort to give students a deeper perspective about Chuukese culture and people. It allowed for students to critically examine their attitudes and beliefs about Chuukese and afforded them the opportunity to unpack any racist beliefs that they may have held about our Chuukese brothers and sisters,” Natividad, said.
After returning from Chuuk, students talked about how the experience affected them and inspired them to quickly organize a coin drive and school supply drive in support of the Akoyikoyi School in Penia village, a new, fledging elementary charter school that is struggling with the cost of day-to-day operations.
University of Guam student Antonio Diaz said, “The experience of traveling to Chuuk and immersing ourselves in the culture was surreal. I learned about the people and their culture, and how no one social problem is limited to one area or demographic of Micronesia. All of us in Micronesia are experiencing hardships, but the people of Chuuk are really utilizing as much natural resources as possible, and doing so in such a humble and inspiring fashion.”
SW-400 Chuuk Travel Course will be held every two years and is open to students in degree programs such as social work, health sciences, psychology, sociology, legal studies, and anthropology. For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Natividad at 777-7285.