Charles Mbugua is a front-line social work practitioner in Kenya. He boasts vast experience in the practice, having worked with the National Christian Council of Kenya, World Council of Churches, Local and Central Government in Kenya, World Vision International, Economic Commission for Africa and as a private practitioner within the countries of the Great Lakes Region.
He is the immediate past President of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) in Africa, and a founding member and Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Organization for Social Work. As the IFSW Main Representative at the UN in Nairobi, he was, alongside others instrumental in agitating for the changing of Rules of Procedure and engagement, a change which paved way for the formation of the World Urban Forum.
Mbugua hit the headlines on Monday, June 13, 2022, when he was awarded Ksh25 million by the IFSW for his remarkable contribution to social work both in Kenya and globally. Reports indicate that he was nominated for the award by IFSW Africa Region Executive David Jones and Secretary-General Rory Truell.
“The International Federation of Social Workers is pleased to announce the award of the highest honour of the Federation —the Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol Medal — to Charles Mbugua and the Council of International Fellowship,’’ Dr Truell was quoted by the Nation as saying.
“[Mr] Mbugua was nominated for the award by Dr Jones and Dr Rory Truell. The award recognises [Mr Mbugua’s] outstanding contribution to professional social work nationally, regionally and globally in different cadres and now serving as the IFSW UN Representative for Africa Region.”
According to IFSW, the award targets individuals and organisations that promote dignity and humanity at the community level as well as peace and integration.
Mbugua currently serves as the IFSW United Nations Representative for Africa Region.
Over the years, Mbugua has risen in rank while dedicating his service to human empowerment. Between 2002 and 2014, he was IFSW’s global executive, vice president and president for Africa, and senior vice president serving on the organization’s Steering Group.
IFSW added that Mbugua played key roles in several regional conferences in Kenya and Africa.
“He has been the IFSW and social work representative to the United Nations Habitat (based in Nairobi) for many years and has taken part in the development of the global strategy on sustainable urbanisation,’’ IFSW said.
On his part, Mr Mbugua said he was elated by the award, terming it a big motivation to other social workers both at home and globally in their quest to address humanitarian issues, especially among vulnerable communities.
“The sentimental value of the award is elating and is a big honour to Africa and welfare champions in the region,” said Mr Mbugua.