Spring/Summer 2020 Field Image Showcase
Field Image Showcase
The TFEL Project hosted their first Field Image Showcase. Students from all walks of social work came together to showcase a short narrative and image that encompassed their social work journey maneuvering through the current pandemic or their previous practicum experiences.
The event was held virtually on August 11th, 2020.
Contribution to COVID 19 Relief Work by Srishti Bhattacharya
“Trainee tried to address the issue of Period Poverty in her hometown, during the wake of COVID 19 crisis where the women who belonged to informal sector failed to afford the costly sanitary napkins, especially when they were out of work and their topmost priority was to feed their families twice a day.
In the Ward Number 71 ( Bangali Tola, Varanasi ) trainee organized relief kit distribution on May 31st and June 2nd, 2020. To progress this issue, the trainee contacted the Ward Councillor of her area and shared her idea with him. He then contacted the Women’s Group of the Ward. This group had always been active in addressing the social issues related to women and girls and providing assistance in the work of distributing kits to them. Having obtained their support, the Ward Councillor and trainee made a bulk purchase of the following products:
- Sanitary Napkin (Stayfree),
- Hand Sanitizer,
- A bottle of juice,
- A packet of biscuit and wafer
After preparing the kit, the trainee along with the group dispatched it and reached the target number of 250 beneficiaries including adolescent women and girls.“
Every Step of the Way
I began my BSW journey with my fourth baby in my belly. She was born on the due date of a big group project. She came with me as a two-week-old infant to a block week course on campus and has lain in my arms for countless zoom sessions. It is fitting now that she is still glued to my side while I am completing my practicum, still online, at home together. She has been my companion every step of the way, ensuring I am taking breaks and enjoying moments of self-care by gazing at her sweetness, asleep in my arms.
Every step of the way she has listened to click of my keys in her dreams while I work into the night and has witnessed my every moment of frustration and relief. She makes appearances in my meetings and scribbles in her notebook while I make notes in mine. I see now that my busyness in all my work from home has strengthened our bond and ability to sense what each other needs. I am not sure where I am going after this chapter ends, but my little companion has helped me to learn that no matter the challenge, I can succeed.
My Little Office by Monica Franco
My first practicum as an MSW student at the University of Calgary was at the Calgary Foundation. As a professional immigrant, getting to meet face–to–face with new people in the social work field was an important opportunity for me. However, my experience was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the end of March, I had to create my workspace in my home in Chestermere, Alberta. This picture is about my little space where I spend most of my time. My only company “at work” was my bear (a present from a garage sale). Through my window, I could see the loneliness and fears on streets. However, I have always thought that having a positive mind is the best tool to overcome any difficulty. Then, something great happened! Over the summer, I had the opportunity to start working as a research student at TFEL Project. This transformed my space and my mind. My office was full of great people through Zoom and Microsoft meetings and my mind was constantly challenged with interesting topics about the future of social work field education. I can proudly say I feel the power of being connected online and productive and most importantly, I learned that more than ever we need to be ready to help our society have positive ways to deal with this difficult time.
Epiphany by Raidah Noshin
This photograph titled, “Epiphany” represents my journey from a novice to a potential ally for Indigenous peoples, their histories and their cultures. I say potential because there is so much that I still do not know. The word ally is not self-prescribed. Rather, it was given to me by a Cree woman who works at United Way of Calgary where I completed my MSW Foundational Field practicum. I took this photograph of a little red dress badge which represents the REDress Campaign to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) on International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020. It was gifted to me by the organizer, another Indigenous woman who saw me serving food to the Elders and guests on IWD 2020 as well as help out with the clean-up where the event occurred. It was that day I had an epiphany where I realized the true meaning of social work. Relationship building is perhaps the most fundamental and the most important skill in social work practice. I was already building relationships with Indigenous communities through my actions which embodied respect, speaking louder than words.
Being Critical About Disability by Lauren Migrino
My previous practicum experience was at the University of Calgary, where I completed a research placement that focused on critical disability theory. Throughout my practicum, I learned much about how disability is looked at in Canada and how institutional practices shape the experiences of people with disabilities. I spent the four months of my placement constantly reflecting on my worldviews – thinking critically about how I understand disability and how to better advocate for this marginalized community. The photo shown relates to this concept and my practicum experience as people with disabilities are often left unseen and unheard in Canada. The woman stands at the center of the photo and overshadows the man who is using a wheelchair – a metaphor for how practitioners and institutions frequently default to the carers of people with disabilities to speak on behalf of them. This depicts the marginalization and oppression people with disabilities face in our society, specifically within Calgary. Therefore, my aim in sharing this photo is to illustrate the lived experiences of people with disabilities and encourage others to think more critically about how they view disability.
Headsets and Sheltering in Place by Clarissa Foss
I bought a headset so I could teach English to children in China.
I got most of the way through the hiring process but chose sleep and social work instead.
I put the headset in a drawer
Then COVID 19 showed up.
4 children at home,
3 with video conferencing schedules
15 hours of Zoom per week for me.
Desperately I searched for the headset.
2 days I searched for the headset.
And found it when I stopped looking.
And only used it
Because, after all, they are uncomfortable.
And like so many other things,
not as important as I thought they’d be
Reflections through COVID-19 by Jayden Wickman
It might seem that working from home during COVID-19 provides many distractions, but at the same time, there are distractions in the office as well, they’re just different. I appreciate the benefits of not having to commute alternatively the commute allowed me to be alone listening to music and having a few moments to relax. As coworkers have different schedules, I strive to set boundaries, which may seem more difficult with my work constantly so close to me, but it is so important to maintain mental health. It may seem challenging as we fall away from routine potentially losing a sense of normalcy. What is normal to me may not be normal to someone else, normal is constantly changing, and the world is not normal right now. While my work provides me with many opportunities for learning I have also found time for personal learning. There are many things to think about as we move through this pandemic, but as I look at the screen of my laptop with my schedule of meetings, notifications and multiple open tabs, I cannot help but reflect on how fortunate I am to be safe, to have a job, and to have beautiful places to relax and complete my work.
We Have a Dream by Bola Abe
This picture reminds me of some of the discussions I had in class over the course of my first year in the MSW Clinical Social Work Practice Program at the University of Calgary. These discussions centred around racism, advocacy, injustice and equity.
It strongly reminds me of my experience as a practicum student at the Calgary Youth Offender Centre (CYOC) where some of these themes came up and I had to push my advocacy skills in defending and amplifying voices of marginalized populations. At my placement, I realized there the issue of racism is everywhere even in prisons. The population of Black youth at CYOC was high, yet there were no programs specifically tailored for them. I noticed that other populations that were predominantly White youth and Indigenous youth had several programs tailored to their experiences and culture. They were also provided with numerous resources, as opposed to the lack of resources being given to programming for Black youth. This did not change until I advocated for the implementation of programs that were specific to the culture and experiences of being part of the Black population. Throughout my practicum experience, I began to learn more and more about these systemic issues and the role racism played in perpetuating these systemic issues. I realize racism is truly everywhere and I knew that my role was to continue fighting against these oppressive and racist structures until justice is achieved.
My photo represents the advocacy for freedom, rights, equity, the ways in which the government policies and others participate in racism. Social justice within the context of anti-oppressive research to me represents the rights for the voices of newcomers, immigrants, and people of colour to be heard and recognizing their pain, struggles, objection, subjugation and agony. I emphasize the need of models of practice that advance social justice at multiple levels and the kinds of struggles marginalized populations find themselves in.
This photo depicts a cry of “I had enough” and not being able to take one more act of injustice being done to Black people. We cannot have any more innocent and disadvantaged Black lives be taken away from us. We need to amplify the voices of people showing their pain and speaking their truth so that together we can achieve the dream Martin Luther King Jr. fought for. A dream of JUSTICE, RIGHTS, EQUALITY, and EQUITY…
Collaborative Connections by Cara Au
My research assistantship with Transforming the Field Education Landscape allowed me to work with BSW and MSW students researching social work field education during COVID-19. Meeting “face-to-face” over Microsoft Teams made social distancing feel less isolating. The need to work online created the opportunity for research assistants to connect across Alberta, making it a smaller world. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from students I would not have met in-person. TFEL gave us the opportunity to collaboratively lead research as students. We developed surveys, presented at conferences, and wrote manuscripts together – three things I have never done before. Not only did we meet as new colleagues, we formed supportive academic friendships. TFEL teams were able to support each other in research, academics, and to a degree, in personal matters. It has been wonderful collaborating with so many compassionate, driven social work students!