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Merck Foundation CEO and Burundi First Lady support education of 20 girls as part of “Educating Linda” program

By APO Group
02 March 2022   |   6:00 pm
Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com) & the Burundi First Lady recently announced 12 winners of Merck Foundation Media Awards 2021 from Burundi with the aim to break Infertility Stigma and Support Girl Education. Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, together with The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, who is also the…
Merck Foundation

Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com) & the Burundi First Lady recently announced 12 winners of Merck Foundation Media Awards 2021 from Burundi with the aim to break Infertility Stigma and Support Girl Education.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, together with The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, who is also the Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, provided educational support to the deserving brilliant underprivileged girl students across the country nationwide as part of the Merck Foundation “Educating Linda” Program.

Speaking about the Burundi First Lady’s dedication towards her role as the Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother campaign, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej said, “I am so happy to share with you all that Ms. Lucky-Lou, the daughter of The President and First Lady of  Burundi  has dedicated  her beautiful new song 'Plus qu'une MERE', which she composed and sung herself as a contribution towards ‘More Than a Mother’ Campaign. She is an exceptional young talented artist whose song will be an important tool for us to break Infertility Stigma in Burundi and in Africa at large. Thank you so much for this beautiful song which communicates an important message that Women are productive members and have many roles to play in society. Women are more than just Mothers”.

Click here to listen to 'Plus qu'une MERE' song: https://bit.ly/3C4AfpU

Moreover, Merck Foundation together with the Burundi First Lady, recently announced 12 winners of the Merck Foundation Media Awards 2021 from Burundi with the aim to break Infertility stigma and support girl education through their media coverage.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother expressed, “It is an honor to witness the great work that my dear sister, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother, H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, is doing under The Foundation Bonne action – Umugiraneza in collaboration with Merck Foundation to support girls enrolled in the “Educating Linda” program with school fees and school supplies. 9 out of the 20 schoolgirls selected for the Merck Foundation 'Educating Linda' program have received their scholarships to support them with school items, uniforms, and other school necessities so that they can continue their studies. The rest of 20 scholarships will be provided in the near future. Moreover, I am very proud with the 12 Burundian winners of media recognition awards and with the dedication of the new beautiful song dedicated to “More than a Mother” campaign composed and sung by the daughter of The President and the First Lady of Burundi. I am very proud of all these achievements which would never happen without the dedication and efforts of Burundi First Lady and her team”.

H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother expressed, “We are thankful to our partner Merck Foundation for their impactful programs. I am happy to provide support for the educational needs of our underprivileged but brilliant girls so that they can continue their studies. It is well known that education contributes significantly to women's wellbeing and overall development, in fact it helps building stronger and healthier families, communities and countries. Together with Merck Foundation, I am committed to execute various programs in my country to raise awareness about infertility stigma, as well as build healthcare capacity in general and reproductive health and women health in particular”.

“I strongly believe that girl education and ending child marriage is the right strategy to empower women in general and end GBV & FGM and break infertility stigma in specific. Girl education is also an area that represents some of the clearest examples of discrimination women suffer. I believe now is the time to stand for the rights of girls and women and empower them. Congratulations on this great milestone. I am proud to be associated with Burundi First Lady”, Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized.

In partnership with Burundi First Lady, Merck Foundation has provided till today, 47 scholarships to young Burundian doctors in many critical and underserved specialties like Diabetes, Fertility & Embryology, Oncology, and Sexual and Reproductive Health, with the aim to transform the landscape of patient care in the country.

Moreover, Merck Foundation and Burundi First Lady have together launched three children storybooks; “David’s story” (https://bit.ly/36XtpHp) to emphasize strong family values of love and respect from a young age which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and resulted domestic violence in the future, “Educating FIFI” (https://bit.ly/34bPBMY) story to cover the importance of empowering girls through education and “Make the Right Choice” (https://bit.ly/3IF7iDm) story to raise awareness about coronavirus prevention amongst children and youth as it provides facts about the pandemic and how to stay safe and healthy during the outbreak. It also promotes honesty, hard work, and the ability to make the right choices even during the most challenging times.

30,000 copies of the three storybooks have been distributed to young readers, school students of Burundi, with the aim to raise awareness about Covid 19, support girl education and break the infertility stigma and emphasize family values of love and respect.

As part of the 2022 edition of Merck Foundation Awards, Merck Foundation in partnership with Burundi First Lady, announced new edition of the annual 4 awards for media, fashion designers, filmmakers and musicians/ singers to participate in order to raise awareness about any of the following social issues such as; Breaking Infertility, support girls’ education, end child marriage, end FGM, stopping GBV and women empowerment at all levels.

Details of the Awards:

1. Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022:

Media representatives are invited to showcase their work to raise awareness about any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3McWPRU) to view more details.

2. Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022 All African Filmmakers, Students of Film Making Training Institutions or Young Talents of Africa are invited to create and share a long or short FILMS, either drama, documentary or docudrama to deliver strong and influential messages to address any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3C8UmmI) to view more details.

3. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022: All African Fashion Students and Designers are invited to create and share designs to deliver strong and influential messages to raise awareness about any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3szWtx1) to view more details.

4. Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022: All African Singers and Musical Artists are invited to create and share a SONG with the aim to address any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th July 2022. Click here (https://bit.ly/3HuzbNj) to view more details.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

Media Contact: 
Mehak Handa 
Community Awareness Program Manager 
+91 9310087613/ +91 9319606669  
mehak.handa@exteral.merckgroup.com 

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard:
Facebook: bit.ly/32YFKpv
Twitter: bit.ly/2TeOQNj
YouTube: bit.ly/3zc3up1
Instagram: bit.ly/3g6OYr3
Flicker: bit.ly/2Tay0Pu
Website: Merck-Foundation.com
Download the Merck Foundation App: bit.ly/3v7pf5Z

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 governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management 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:

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI,
The First Lady of Botswana

H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia

H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana

H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia

H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone

H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville

H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi

H.E. MUTINTA HICHILEMA, The First Lady of Zambia

H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo

H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.

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
  • Children storybook, localized for each country

About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit Merck-Foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (bit.ly/32YFKpv), Twitter (bit.ly/2TeOQNj), Instagram(bit.ly/3g6OYr3) , YouTube (bit.ly/3zc3up1) and Flicker (bit.ly/2Tay0Pu).

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