Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) launched its Internal Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in collaboration with the Lifeline/Childline Namibia last week.
The program provides MTC employees with immediate confidential telephone counselling seven days a week operated by Lifeline/Childline Namibia.
They will also have access to face-to-face counselling at the work place and emergency workplace response in severe situations such as suicide.
A dedicated toll-free number (0819444) has been provided by the local telecommunication giant.
Although it is only for employees now, in six months’ time MTC plans to extend the service to its employees’ family members.
Signed as a pilot programme, the service is being facilitated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) with funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).
The initiative was birthed out of the desire to see more public-private cooperation as well as to assist Namibian NGOs in marketing their services to corporate entities to ensure the sustainability and delivery of their services.
This new potential source of revenue for NGOs and civil society organisations operating in Namibia comes after a recent market analysis indentified private sector demand for a number of wellness services.
The research also revealed that the private sector had little experience in purchasing such services from local NGO providers.
Through that analysis and facilitation by USAID’s SHOPS MTC was matched with Lifeline/Childline Namibia for the provision of professional and confidential counselling services.
“We strongly believe that through this breakthrough initiative, MTC is setting a trend in the hope of seeing that employees have access to comprehensive wellness programs that will provide counselling and peer to peer service with the aim of enhancing organisation capacity and employees wellbeing,” said MTC chief human capital and corporate affairs officer, Tim Ekandjo.
Lifeline/Childline Namibia is hopeful that services to the Namibian public will be subsidised through the counselling of corporate employees.
MTC will receive a monthly feedback report by Lifeline/Childline Namibia.
The report will document the progress of the counselling project such as the number of telephone calls received, telephonic counselling sessions, incoming and outgoing SMSes, average duration of calls and problem categories as well as the outcome of counselling sessions.
In addition to entering into a partnership with Lifeline/Childline Namibia for the EAP services, MTC will further be strengthening ties with Lifeline/Childline by having their peers trained by them.
This partnership will be the first of its kind to foster and strengthen business relations between NGOs and corporate entities.
The first agreement, signed by Old Mutual Namibia and NGO Philippi Trust Namibia on 3 June 3 2013, was brokered by USAID’s SHOPS.