…break infertility stigma and support girl education

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej and Zimbabwe First Lady meet more than 100 Merck Foundation Alumni from Zimbabwe, media winners and doctors enrolled into Merck foundation scholarships

HARARE, Zimbabwe: CEO of Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, and H.E. Mrs. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWAThe First Lady of Zimbabwe  & Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, co-chaired 2021 Merck Foundation Zimbabwe Annual Summit via videoconference to discuss their joint programs to transform patient care landscape in Zimbabwe via building healthcare capacity and raising awareness about breaking infertility stigma and support girl education. And to meet more than 100 of our Merck Foundation Alumni.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very proud to tell you that in partnership with my dear sister, H.E. Mrs. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, we have provided 85 scholarships to young Zimbabwean doctors in various medical specialties like Fertility & Embryology, Oncology, Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Sexual & Reproductive Medicine, Respiratory, Acute Medicines, Clinical Microbiology & infectious diseases and Oncology. By building professional healthcare capacity, we have been able to transform the landscape of patient care in Zimbabwe. This is a huge achievement for us. Today, I am very happy to meet our alumni and discuss their impact on improving the quality of healthcare in the country after receiving specialized medical scholarships provided by Merck Foundation. Moreover, I am equally excited to meet the winners of the Merck Foundation Media Recognition Awards and to discuss with them the significant role they have been playing to break the stigma around infertility, empowering girls and women through education, and raising awareness about coronavirus”.

H.E. Mrs. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More than a Mother expressed, “I am happy to work closely with our long-time partner Merck Foundation, as through their programs, together we have been able to reshape the landscape of our healthcare sector and empower our healthcare providers and motivate them to provide better care to our people especially during this difficult time of Covid-19. More than 85 medical graduates have already completed or are undergoing training in various medical specialties.”.

Merck Foundation in partnership with The First Lady of Zimbabwe have launched three children storybooks titled: “Tudu’s Story” to emphasize on the 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 Rujeko Story” to emphasize on the importance of empowering girls through education and “Make the Right Choice 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. 30,000 copies of the three storybooks have been distributed to young readers, school students of Zimbabwe.

Merck Foundation in partnership with The First Lady of Zimbabwe together with Ministries of Health and Information had also organized the their Health Media Training to educate media to be the voice of the voiceless and to break the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.

Moreover, together with Zimbabwe First Lady, Merck Foundation has introduced 6 important Awards for Media, Fashion, Film, and Music fraternity.

Speaking about the latest edition of the Awards, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej explained, “After celebrating 27 Zimbabwean Media Winners of past editions of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” Media Recognition Awards and “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards, we are very excited to launch together with Her Excellency, the 2021 edition of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Awards for our media, fashion, film making, and music fraternity to raise awareness on the important topics of breaking the stigma around infertility, underscoring the importance of girls’ education and women empowerment at all levels. Together, we are also announcing the Coronavirus theme-based awards for Media and Fashion fraternity, as this will help in raising awareness about continuing the best practices and also show support to our frontline workers in the country and the rest of Africa”

The Awards for 2021 launched are:

1. Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother”: Media representatives are invited to showcase their work to raise awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility stigma, and Empowering Girls and Women through Education.

Submission deadline: 30th August 2021. Click hereto view more details: https://bit.ly/3igFlHb

2. Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021: All African Filmmakers and Students are invited to create and share a FILM or a DOCUDRAMA to deliver strong and influential messages to break Infertility stigma, and /or Empowering Girls and Women through Education and at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th August 2021. Click hereto view more details: https://bit.ly/3xkRZcu

3. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021: All African Fashion Students and Designers are invited to create and share designs to deliver strong and influential messages to raise awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility stigma, and/or Empowering Girls and Women through Education.

Submission deadline: 30th August 2021. Click here to view more details: https://bit.ly/3C6GwB6

4. Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021: All African Singers and Musical Artists are invited to create and share a SONG with the aim to Empower Girls and Women through Education and at all levels.

Submission deadline: 30th August 2021. Click here to view more details: https://bit.ly/3C3q2cW

5. Merck Foundation “Mask Up With Care” Media Recognition Awards 2021: Media representatives are invited to showcase their work to raise awareness on how to adapt best protection measures such as wearing your masks to show you care and love your family & community; to encourage your community to choose to vaccinate when it is available and to sensitize them to support healthcare workers who are at the forefront of COVID 19 pandemic.

Submission deadline: 30th September 2021. Click here to view more details: https://bit.ly/37h4Fqy

6. Merck Foundation “Make Your Own Mask” Fashion Awards 2021: All African Fashion Designers and Students are invited to create and share designs of masks and other clothing items that carry messages to encourage people to wear masks to show they care and at the same time make it creative and fun!

Submission deadline: 30th September 2021. Click here to view more details: https://bit.ly/3jhO5fP

Entries for all the awards to be submitted via email to submit@merck-foundation.com.

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