uOttawa new course to promote humanitarian aid during pandemic

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2020

Seniors' hands crossed on a cane

New Course to Address Critical Long-Term Care Centre Needs

In response to a pressing need in today's society - one exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic - the School of Social Work at the University of Ottawa will offer a new course this summer titled "COVID 19 Pandemic - Humanitarian Engagement and Critical Thinking". This course will be open to all students in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The course will consist of a four consecutive week (96 hours) volunteer commitment in a service for seniors, plus a weekly seminar to allow for a critical analysis of our societal choices.

"Our main goal will be to offer arms, ears and smiles to our seniors. We also wish to accompany our students in a reflection on the place reserved to our seniors in our society and look at the services we offer them at each stage of their journey," explains Jean-Martin Deslauriers, professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa and head of the 'Aging Studies ‘ micro-program also offered by the Faculty's School of Social Work.

"This is a novel initiative of which we are very proud, as it is a way for us to help the community during a difficult time," added Victoria Barham, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa.

While offering tangible and swift humanitarian aid to organizations and services that serve our seniors, this course also aims to offer an analysis of the impacts of current government policies on the living conditions of our seniors.

The course will be offered in July by a team of four professors from the School of Social Work who will work together. Students will be required to undergo a criminal background check in order to take part in the course. The student interns will work with the long-term care centres of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSS) for their internship.


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