“OUR JOB IS TO KEEP SOCIETY FUNCTIONAL AND HEALTHY,” SAYS SOCIAL WORKER MPHO THUBAKGALE

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Mpho Thubakgale shares inspiring journey as a Social Worker

By Phetoho Maja 

  • March marks a time of reflection and appreciation for the dedication of social workers as observed by the Weekly Bulletin. These professionals, employed by the Social Development sector, devote themselves to aiding vulnerable members of society and fostering community well-being.
  • World Social Work Month and World Social Work Day on March 19th offer an opportunity to honour these individuals. Among them is Mpho Thubakgale, a 29-year-old social worker stationed at the Gauteng Department of Social Development, Duduza Service Point.
  • Thubakgale’s passion lies in witnessing the positive impact of her work, particularly in reuniting dysfunctional families and rehabilitating individuals from substance abuse. Despite the challenges, she finds fulfilment in addressing court-related matters and fostering a safer environment for children.

Each year during the month of March, the Weekly Bulletin takes time to reflect on the stories and experiences shared by social workers. These are Social Development officials who are community-focused and spend their days connecting with vulnerable people in society and offering them care and support. 

During this month, we get to salute them as we observe World Social Work Month and World Social Work Day on the 19th of March. One exceptional individual is 29-year-old Mpho Thubakgale from Tsakane in Ekurhuleni, a social worker stationed at the Gauteng Department of Social Development, Duduza Service Point.

Thubakgale highlights that seeing dysfunctional families reunited, seeing children rehabilitated from drugs and substance abuse, and many other vulnerable people receiving assistance from the Department warms her heart. 

“Initially, I wanted to be a clinical psychologist. But then, I discovered that helping people is not limited to therapy. So, any social issue that people encounter becomes personal to me, and I always have the urge to help, to make our society a better place to live in.”

“Working with people is always stressful. On a day-to-day basis, we have clients who come in with many social issues, and we attend to those. In Duduza Service Point, we deal mainly with statutory social work, which means everything that is court-related.”

“We deal with issues such as foster care placement, adoptions, and guardianship, to name a few. Any child-related matter that needs the intervention of the court, whether it is an abandoned child, neglected, or needs placement in safe care, we deal with it,” said Thubakgale. 

She added, “Social work is very important because society comes with societal problems. So, there cannot be a functional or healthy society without the social worker.”

“Personally, my success story would be my growth in the field. Moreover, seeing foster children or orphans succeed in life. I have foster children who are in varsity; some are working and earning a decent living,” she said. 

This year, World Social Work is observed under the theme “Shared Future for Transformative Change.” This day is a reminder to social work professionals and social auxiliary workers of their importance. 

The Gauteng Department of Social Development acknowledges and appreciates the significant role social workers play in communities.

Picture taken by Phetoho Maja

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