Social Work on the Silk Road

Social Work on the Silk Road
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An entry-level social worker in Bishkek makes about $150 a month; in a village, half that salary is common. Even in the western world, the average pay for a social worker with a graduate degree is significantly less than others with a similar education. Most social workers will confess that making money is not what motivates them most. Helping to change the lives of others, to see children and families prosper—or just receiving a smile or words of thanks—is enough to keep them going. As Erkayim, a social work student at Bishkek Humanities University (BHU) said, “I want to be useful for society.” His peer Nestyn added, “I just want to be able to help people with special needs solve their problems.”

Published in 2012 by The New Social Worker
Christine Tappan -MSW, CAGS