Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany releases two new songs named ‘Like Them’ by a Ugandan singer Kenneth Mugabi and ‘I am Not Anyone’s Bride, Take Me to School’ by Zambian Singer Wezi, to raise awareness about Ending Child Marriage and Supporting Girls’ Education, across Africa.
Speaking about the release of the new songs, Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej CEO of Merck Foundation expressed, “I am very happy to share two beautiful songs ‘Like Them’ and ‘I am Not Anyone’s Bride, Take Me to School’. The songs have been launched under our ‘Educating Linda’ program, which is a part of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” Campaign. The songs have been created with the aim to sensitize our communities about the importance of ending child marriage and supporting girls’ education, which is very central to building stronger families and communities.”
In sub-Saharan Africa, a staggering 40 percent of girls marry before age 18. Girls who marry young are often denied a range of human rights: many must discontinue their education, face serious health risks from early and multiple pregnancies, and suffer sexual and domestic violence.
“I strongly believe that Girl Education is the best investment in global economy, when a girl is educated, she is better equipped to be financially independent. Girl Education can also help to put an end to Child Marriage as educated girls tend to marry late, make better decisions to fulfill their goals, and also they are able to take better care of their families,” Senator Rasha added.
Through ‘Educating Linda’ program in partnership with African First Ladies, Merck Foundation has provided scholarships and school items to thousands of young and brilliant girl students.
“These scholarships and grants cover school fees, school uniforms, and other essentials including notebooks, pens, and mathematical instruments, so these young girls can realize their potential and pursue their dreams,” explained Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej.
Other than the “Educating Linda” program, Merck Foundation has also announced the MARS Awards to appreciate and recognize ‘Best African Women Researchers’ and ‘Best Young African Researcher’.
The aim is to empower women and young African researchers, advance their research capacity and promote their contribution to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej further emphasized, “In partnership with the African First Ladies, we have been building healthcare capacity through providing training to healthcare providers in many medical specialties. Out of the total 1334 scholarships, more than 590 scholarships have been provided to female doctors in critical and underserved specialties. This is a great achievement for us.”
Merck Foundation has also released many other songs by popular African Artists to promote girls’ education in African communities. They have also launched inspiring children’s storybooks to emphasize on the importance of girls’ education and also to highlight the immoral practices of society including child marriage and the dowry system, such as “Jackline’s Rescue”, “Ride into the Future” and “Educating Linda”.
About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign
“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports in defining policies and interventions to build quality and equitable Reproductive and Fertility Care Capacity, Break Infertility Stigma and Raise Awareness about Infertility Prevention and Male Infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for Fertility Specialists and Embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards
Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it