15 Jun 2013 07:00
WINDHOEK, 15 JUN (NAMPA)- The Namibian Government through the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare on Friday launched a child-friendly booklet on the minimum standards for residential childcare facilities in the country.
The comic-type booklet was officially launched by Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Rosalia Nghidinwa at the NamPower Convention Centre here on Friday evening.
It aims to address the harmful practices which violate the rights of children in Namibia, and gives clear guidelines on the minimum standards and quality of care for children living in childcare homes and other related facilities across the country.
Before launching the booklet, Nghidinwa said the publication is the result of a participatory and consultative process with many people involved in alternative childcare in the country, and it is a step forward that her ministry has undertaken to ensure proper care and protection of orphans and other vulnerable children in the country.
The booklet is designed to assist childcare service providers, ministerial staff, social welfare partners and other stakeholders concerned with quality of childcare to establish, maintain and manage high-quality care services for children in Namibia.
It will also be used by other people who are responsible for the registration and monitoring of residential childcare facilities in the country.
Currently, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare is responsible for the implementation of these standards contained in the booklet.
?This document of standards is linked to other documents developed as part of the process, such as a handbook for implementers containing further information on alternative care options, how-to-do advice and supporting materials and a child-friendly version booklet presenting the standards on a child's perspectives.
Namibian children and their needs were central to the development of these standards. Let their best interests also be the central focus during the implementation of the standards, and close to the hearts of those people working with them,? urged the minister.
The Ministry of Gender and Equality Child Welfare developed the booklet with the generous support from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other developing partners.
The booklet will be distributed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare to local home-childcare facilities, kindergartens and schools at no cost.
The launch of the booklet coincided with the celebration of the Day of the African Child, which is observed on 16 June every year on the continent in respect of the students who died in Soweto, South Africa in 1976 while fighting against the then-apartheid colonial regime.