African Journal of Social Work 2021-10-06T07:55:58+00:00 Jacob Mugumbate Open Journal Systems <p>The <em>African Journal of Social Work </em>is an international refereed journal that serves as a forum for exchanging ideas and knowledge and discussing issues relevant to social work practice, education and research in the African region. Producing 2 issues a year, the Journal is published by the National Association of Social Workers (Zimbabwe) and is committed to reflecting culturally relevant and appropriate social work practice in Africa. Social work is seen as a broad-based profession that can vary from individual casework to community development and policy-related concerns.</p> <p>African Journal of Social Work (AJSW) content&nbsp;is licensed under a&nbsp;<a title="Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>.</p> Social work education in Botswana amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Reflections, strategies and lessons 2021-09-29T08:05:21+00:00 Rodreck Mupedziswa Tirelo Modie-Moroka Tumani Malinga <p>When the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic originated in China, hit the shores of the African continent, Botswana, like many other countries, introduced a raft of measures aimed at arresting the rapid spread of the virus. The measures put in place included effecting a countrywide lockdown. Most institutions, including the University of Botswana (UB), temporarily closed their doors and sent staff and students to their homes. Authorities at the institution, among other things, began to explore possibilities of introducing remote learning (or online teaching) for students. The paper reflects on the experiences and strategies that the Department of Social Work considered at UB for virtual course delivery and related issues and considers lessons learnt to date and implications for the country's future social work education. The strategies included exploration of various online teaching and learning platforms.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Access to health information for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya 2021-09-29T08:36:02+00:00 John Ndavula Jackline Lidubwi <p>This study explores the effectiveness of media in promoting access to COVID-19 health information in Kenya. The focus will be on how persons with disabilities accessed COVID-19 information through television within the first three months of the outbreak of the pandemic in Kenya. The quantitative study sampled three television stations in Kenya namely KTN News Television, Signs TV and KBC Television. Data was collected from the television stations between April and June 2020. Further, a survey of 100 persons with disabilities was conducted to triangulate study findings. The data gathered was analysed descriptively. Findings indicate that, although television was a popular medium in transmitting COVID-19 information, it didn’t employ accessible formats as is required by local and international legal provisions. The authors recommend that a more disability inclusive approach to the COVID-19 health information dissemination in the media be adopted. Further, media regulators such as the Communications Authority of Kenya and the Media Council of Kenya, are encouraged to enforce the legal provision to include accessible formats on television.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) COVID-19 in South Africa: The prognosis with respect to preparedness and the implications of the pandemic for social work 2021-09-29T08:44:26+00:00 Tatenda Manomano <p>This article is a critical discussion of the negative developments which have either been occasioned or aggravated in South Africa as a consequence of the virulent spread of the global corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The author has evaluated the consequences for South African society in relation to Ubuntu theory and the utu-buntu business model. In many African countries, unique structural and cultural influences are exerted on the forms which urbanisation processes take, which are clearly discernible in both urban and rural areas in South Africa. The article has identified a diverse range of factors such as poverty, unemployment, corruption and domestic violence as decisive determinants of the size of the problem which the pandemic represents for South Africa. Accordingly, an evaluation of the degree to which South Africa is adequately prepared to manage the pandemic is imperative, as are assessments of the role of social work and the implications of the pandemic for social work practice.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on social work education and practice 2021-09-29T08:52:12+00:00 Wilson Zvomuya <p>The essence of global trends in shaping the world education and related activities has not been clear-cut before the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Disruptions in learning at tertiary institutions, failure of students to afford the online system of learning, lack of technological skills, disturbances in conducting internal assessments, fieldwork supervision and mentorship as well as lack of resources, to keep in pace with global developments, characterised the day in such developing countries as Zimbabwe. Social work education, research, fieldwork and practice was modified through the adoption of virtual platforms for learning, provision of counselling sessions, follow-ups and linkages. For continuity in the face of COVID-19, tertiary institutions are now using virtual platforms that include Zoom, Microsoft teams, Twitter, Facebook, Office 365, Skype for business, WhatsApp calls and group chats for educational purposes. Increased use of virtual platforms is evident among students on practicum and doing dissertations who are working from home. The author of this paper acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic is a turning point in social work education and practice which everyone has to adopt without compromising the Afrocentric values, principles and guidelines salient to addressing the needs of the local people. This paper entails the historical development of social work education in Zimbabwe, use of virtual platforms in tertiary learning, fieldwork practice, tele-working and policy implications to social work practice due to COVID-19 pandemic.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) COVID-19 pandemic and the informal sector in Zimbabwe 2021-09-29T08:58:38+00:00 Cornelius Dudzai Charles Kiiza Wamara <p>With the Zimbabwean economy already struggling with high unemployment rate in the formal market and high inflation rate, the coronavirus national lockdown will exacerbate circumstances of socio-economically vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe. Given the condition that about 90% of the employable population works in the informal sector, Zimbabwe’s national lockdown response has plunged the majority of informal operators such as vendors into further shackles of poverty. Vendors and commuter omnibus drivers are a typical group of people in Zimbabwe that fall within the range of socio-economically vulnerable people and their ability to withstand shocks is wanting. Anecdotal evidence indicated that the lockdown in Zimbabwe resulted in some families of vendors engaging in domestic violence as they are failing to cope up with the abrupt change to their circumstances. This paper is a product of qualitative research that was conducted with twenty participants in Hopley Community of Harare South using in-depth interview. The researchers also reviewed and analysed current narrations as indicated in different documents about the implications of the COVID-19 lockdown on the informal sector. This article proposes possible recommendations on how the government, social workers and other stakeholders may help in empowering informal sector workers to cope up with the aftermaths of the coronavirus lockdown.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Challenges for child welfare and development during the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe 2021-09-29T09:04:59+00:00 Tanatswa Silvanus Chineka Wilberforce Kurevakwesu <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in multiple shocks on the global terrain with disastrous consequences and children have not been spared. Restrictions associated with the mitigation of the pandemic have collapsed critical services associated with child development and gains that had been made in strengthening these services have been shamed. The development of children has been threatened as the pandemic and associated mitigation measures have led to, inter alia, the closure of schools, bereavement and reduction in family income. These have exposed children to several threats despite children not being the face of the pandemic. This conceptual article, as such, examines the impact of COVID-19 on child welfare and development in Zimbabwe against the issues associated with COVID-19 and its mitigation measures. In turn, the authors proffer policy and programmatic alternatives that can be useful in creating a conducive environment for continued child development during the COVID-19 pandemic and other future disruptions</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Zimbabwe’s social policy response to COVID-19 and implications for social work 2021-09-29T09:20:01+00:00 John Chiwanza Magocha <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed into a global social, political and economic crisis, impacting significantly on manifest vulnerabilities. Governments in third world countries, already reeling from economic and other shocks, found themselves with a new existential predicament that demanded clear and present responses. Across the globe, the crisis invited quick policy measures to contain and halt the spread of the pandemic. Zimbabwe, like other countries, adopted a raft of policy measures, including statutory instruments and presidential decrees that had a major impact on the livelihoods of the people, in the backdrop of significant economic, social and political crises. This paper investigated the policy measures adopted by the Zimbabwean government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that the social protection needs of the people were catered for. This paper notes that the policy options assumed by government in response to the pandemic seemed more knee jerk reactions premised on what other countries were doing, rather than well thought out strategies that responded to the prevailing realities of the country. Therefore, instead of mitigating the already existing and novel threats, the policy responses in some measure accentuated and compounded those vulnerabilities. This paper thus calls for government to promulgate and implement policy options that take due cognisance of the prevailing national social and economic imperatives.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) COVID-19 induced online learning: the Zimbabwean experience 2021-09-29T09:26:48+00:00 Lizzy Zinyemba Kundai Nhongo Albert Zinyemba <p>Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) brought a lot of social, economic and political tensions worldwide, Zimbabwe included. All sectors of the social services were affected by the pandemic, the education sector also received its own fair share of challenges, as learners and educator’s learning process, was affected by the pandemic. The COVID-19 induced online learning paper sought to bring out the experiences of learners and educators during the COVID-19 periods, laying out how the learning process took place, the challenges experienced, and the lessons learnt. In trying to answer the above stated problem the following objectives were used; to explore the experiences of learners and educators while conducting online lessons; to assess the challenges faced by both learners and educators when making use of technology. The study made use of a desk review and electronic media to collect data. The research found out that learners and educators in most government institutions could not make use of online learning after the closure of schools complying with the national lockdown period. Learners and educators in non-government institutions conducted online lessons but faced a myriad of challenges as the country was not well prepared for online learning. The study therefore recommends universal access to internet and for the government to partner with internet service providers so that it becomes accessible and affordable to the majority of the populace.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the informal sector livelihoods in Zimbabwe 2021-09-29T09:37:34+00:00 Kudzai Nyabeze Witness Chikoko <p>The paper interrogates the socio-economic impact of lockdown measures on street vendors’ livelihoods in Zimbabwe. The study draws literature from a global, regional and national perspective with the utility of the capabilities approach in conceptualising the problem. The utility of the African renaissance theory was important in revealing how colonial structural systems can create stumbling blocks for the operation of the informal sector in an African context. The study reveals documentary analysis in conceptualising the socio-economic impact of coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) on the informal sector. This paper identified the following socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the informal sector such as disempowerment, exposure to poverty, increased gender-based violence and inequality. The implications of the lockdown measures have accelerated the rate of demise of the informal sector in an already crumbling socio-economic environment. The study reveals that the major economic impact of COVID-19 on the informal sector is poverty and decreased profits exposing this sector to abject poverty. This paper recommends that the government should provide social protection programmes for this sector during such socio-economic shocks based on indigenous African knowledge systems.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Examining the robustness of Zimbabwean social protection mechanisms in the context of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 2021-09-29T09:43:27+00:00 Tatenda Goodman Nhapi <p>Pervasiveness of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) pandemic has called into question the appropriateness of many countries’ social security systems. This article explores dynamics of Zimbabwe’s current social security trajectory in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite operational shortcomings, it is undisputed that that Zimbabwe has a robust social security system galvanised by a well-functioning Department of Social Services. However, social assistance programmes targeting vulnerable person’s social&nbsp; assistance present as insufficient, fragmented due to inflationary pressures. Significantly, on 30 March 2020 the Minister of Finance and Economic Development promulgated a ZWL$200 (approximately US $550,000) million safety net availing monthly, targeting one million vulnerable households under the harmonised cash transfer programme. Effectively, this was to translate to ZWL$200 per household. Through reliance on secondary literature review, article aimed at gaining insights into social security administration domains in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using social work lens grounded on advancing of service users’ enhanced dignity and social functioning, article’s conclusions and recommendations are for advancement of Zimbabwe’s social security towards desired outcomes of Sustainable Development Goal 1 realisation of ending poverty. When this is achievable can desired outcomes of safeguarding of vulnerable persons from COVID-19 impacts be achieved.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Easing the lock but locking the vulnerable: a COVID-19 experience of the aged in Nigeria 2021-09-29T09:49:08+00:00 Joseph Adesoji Oluyemi Joseph Adejok Adijat <p>The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in a lockdown in Nigeria. When the lockdown eased, there were continued restrictions of the aged due to their vulnerability to the virus occasioned by underlying chronic illnesses that are associated with aging. This study examined the experiences of the aged in the on-going COVID-19 pandemic with a view to assessing its psychological and emotional impact on the aged and the aged expectations towards being integrated back into the society. The qualitative study was conducted in Ilorin in Kwara State North-central Nigeria while 20 participants aged 65 years and above were interviewed in the study. Fear, anxiety, unhappiness, isolation, alienation, loneliness, worry and frustration were the major psychological and emotional impact of the COVID- 19 lockdown on the participants. Integrating the aged back into the society would also require social support, spiritual support, strict compliance to government protocols and provision of drugs and herbs. The study strongly recommends social work intervention to assist the aged in coping with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.</p> 2021-09-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Information enclave and corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in remote areas: a case of Binga district, Zimbabwe 2021-10-06T07:55:03+00:00 Carol Mhlanga Taruvinga Muzingili Cornelius Dudzai Johanne Mhlanga <p>While media has been voluminous in responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; lack of access to key information has relegated rural communities in the developing world as one of the most at-risk&nbsp; populations. Arguably, information has been a vital tool during the global crisis, carrying vital messaging on disease spread, transmission, treatment and management.&nbsp; Information availability results in protective health behaviours without which communities succumb to devastating impacts of infectious disease. In Zimbabwe, communities in marginalised and hard to reach areas are the most susceptible to infectious disease, because of insufficient information on symptoms, progression, and actions to take towards treatment. Spurred on by the<br>global challenge presented by lack of access to information for rural communities in the developing world, the study makes a case of rural communities in Binga District, Zimbabwe. Through qualitative data collected from eight key informant interviews conducted via phone call with two grass roots organisations and 15 in-depth interviews with community stakeholders, the study establishes that some parts of Binga district rarely receive substantive messaging on COVID-19 disease prevention, identification, and&nbsp; treatment. The authors encourage the use of models premised on indigenous structures to disseminate vital information on infectious disease in rural communities through traditional leaders, religious heads, and healers. Social work as a human and&nbsp; service-oriented profession occupies a crucial space in the implementation as well as realisation of such&nbsp; models.</p> 2021-10-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)