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Social work specialist in Ashgabat spoke about his activities

10:4414.11.2021
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Social work specialist in Ashgabat spoke about his activities

A social work specialist from Ashgabat, Mergen Sahetliev, like his colleagues from 20 pilot etraps across the country, is working to provide inclusive social services at the community level. This is a new activity in the structure of the provision of social services in the country, and it implies assistance to various groups of vulnerable groups of the population, including families, children, adolescents, and the elderly.

With a degree in psychology, Mergen decided to pursue a career in social services. Having successfully passed the difficult selection process for recruiting, he became one of 45 social work specialists hired by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population under the Joint Program between the UN and the Government of Turkmenistan on the implementation of inclusive social services at the local level.

“This job requires not only intensive training, but also careful professional supervision, especially for those who are new to the field,” says Mergen, emphasizing the importance of professionalism in social work.

Mergen provides social services to families in difficult life situations, and is also an active member of a group of theorists and practitioners of social work, sharing practical knowledge with the teaching staff of universities. Thus, it contributes to the formation of the Turkmen professional school of social work and the development of educational programs in the field of social work in national universities.

As part of his intensive professional training, Mergen specialized in supporting families with children in contact or at risk of contact with criminal justice. At the end of the course, with the support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, he and his colleagues from the Center for Social Services under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan organized seminars within the framework of the Close-knit Family program. In the workshops, Mergen worked with parents and children to help them develop skills for coping with stress, better understanding each other, and developing resilience in families to cope with difficult life situations.

Dana Aydarova, who participated in the seminars with her 10-year-old daughter, says:

“We learned so much about each other. We also learned to be patient, began to better understand each other's needs.”

Mergen and his team have assessed the needs of families and will continue to work with some of them as part of the Close-knit Family program.

“Today we see the fruits of our hard work,” says Mergen. “We held several sessions at the “Yenme” public organization, and several at the Centers for the Elderly and People with Disabilities of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan.”

Mergen and his colleagues work with various government and non-government organizations to provide services to these families. Establishing mutual understanding with recipients of services, as well as with various departments and social organizations, helps social workers to be more effective in their work.

The government of Turkmenistan broadly supports new initiatives to improve the system of providing social services in the country by introducing a new model. The new services are expected to be beneficial for communities, which will have more opportunities to overcome the prevailing problems through their active involvement in making important decisions to improve their living conditions, according to the website turkmenistan.un.org.

We previously reported that a new profession is being introduced in Turkmenistan to provide inclusive social services at the community level.

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