By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK In its quest to fulfil its constitutional mandate and presidential directives, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare early this week launched a Customer Service Charter aimed at enhancing efficiency. The charter comprises of three parts that concentrate on gender equality, community and integrated early childhood development, and child welfare. Under Gender Equality, the charter indicates the ministry will concentrate on conducting gender advocacy, sensitization and the mobilisation of gender-based activities at both regional and constitutional levels. As an institution that deals with the welfare of the Namibian people, through the Directorate of Community and Integrated Early Childhood Development, the charter states, “We will promote self-reliance of community members through the provision of material and financial support for income-generating projects.” As the country is faced with a large number of orphans and vulnerable children, the Ministry through its Directorate of Child Welfare will engage in activities that would ensure that the needs of this group are met. “We will maintain and educate children found in need of care by the court of law. We will integrate OVC into families and schools,” it states. At the launch, the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Marlene Mungunda noted that the launch of the charter was not only to circulate information but also to set minimum standards for service delivery. Mungunda stressed: “Quality service delivery calls for a concerted effort from the entire staff in the ministry. It is crystal clear that we must not only be productive but that we produce quality work.” Considering that the ministry deals directly with the public, the Charter urges staff to render their utmost best service including the handling of telephonic inquiries. According to international standards, employees are expected to answer the telephone within three rings, identify oneself by name or division, inform one when they should expect feedback and refer the caller to the right person or institution. In writing, letters must be replied to within ten working days and if not, the inquirer must be informed when he or she should expect a full response. She told staff to take their assignments and responsibilities seriously. “Adhere to the public service regulations by attending work on time, restrain from absenteeism and attend to the public with diligence,” she advised.