Social work aims to advance the social conditions of a community by providing services to the disadvantages, including guidance, counseling and assistance. Out of the thousands of social workers, some rise above the rest as important scholars, pioneers of particular areas and great Samaritans. Here are the most famous social workers of the world:
Mother Teresa was born on 26 August 1910 as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and is considered one of the most famous social workers of the world, due to her advocacy for the rights of the poor and helpless and her intense humanitarian work. She was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in 1950. During her 45 years of work, she ministered to the orphaned, sick and poor. The Missionaries of Charity expanded throughout India and then in many other countries. After her passing away in 1997, Pope John Paul II gave her the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, born 18 July 1918, was the President of South Africa between 1994 and 1999. Before he was elected as president, he was an anti-apartheid activist and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, an armed wing of the African National Congress. He was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life in prison for sabotage and other charges. Nelson Mandela served 27 years, most of that time on Robben Island. After he was released in 1990, his actions and negotiations led to multi-racial democracy in 1994. During his presidency, he introduced many policies aimed to abolish inequality and poverty in South Africa.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in coastal Gujarat, western India. He was raised as a Hindu and trained in law at the Inner Temple in London. Gandhi was the leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. By promoting non-violent civil disobedience, he inspired many movement for freedom and civil right across the world and led India to Independence. His scheme of education is called Nai Talim and focuses on art, health, craft and education of an individual until death. Because he was a devotee of non-violence, he is one of the most famous social workers in the world, considered the Father of the Nation in India.
Richard A. Cloward
Richard A. Cloward (1926- 2005) was an internationally renowned scholar and activist. He is one of the most famous social workers in the field and has a Master’s degree in social work, and a PhD in sociology from Columbia University. Cloward founded SERVE (Service Employees Registration and Voter Education) in 1982 and published many books, including Why Americans Don’t Vote: And Why Politicians Want it That Way. He was a catalyst in a large number of political movements and his articles, books and other worked inspired people from all over the world.