Merck Foundation, Africa First Ladies Advocate for Supporting Girl Education Through More Than a Mother Song Awards 2021

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India & Windhoek, Namibia– Business Wire India • In partnership with African First Ladies, other awards have also been announced such as; ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards, Fashion Awards and Media Recognition Awards.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany introduced their new award, the Merck Foundation Africa Song Award ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021 in partnership with African First Ladies who are also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, for All African Singers, Musical Artists and emerging talents, to create a song with the aim to raise awareness about Empowering Girls and Women through Education at all levels.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother expressed, “This is the first time we have launched the Merck Foundation Africa Song Award ‘More Than a Mother’. I am very excited to introduce this award in partnership with my dear sisters African First Ladies. The continent is known for its versatile music artists and talents who have been instrumental in communicating messages and spreading awareness on various issues. Music and Art have the capacity and influence to make the problem felt, which further stimulates emotions and leads to engagement and action. Hence we used this medium and introduced these awards to encourage the music composers and singers to create songs to raise awareness on the importance of girl education and empowering girls and women at all levels.” “I strongly believe that Music has the power to touch the hearts of people. Music has the ability to bind communities and bring about a cultural shift in the society. We have produced and launched more than 20 songs with famous singers from Burundi, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Gambia to raise awareness about male infertility and to break the Stigma around Infertility in Africa. Moreover, it is also an honor for us to have The President of Liberia, H.E. GEORGE WEAH and the Former First Lady of Burundi do their own songs for our Merck Foundation More Than a Mother campaign.

Through the Song Awards, we aim to spread awareness on important issues of girl education and women empowerment in the African continent,” added Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation strongly believes that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment. Merck Foundation’s 'Educating Linda' program helps young girls who are unprivileged but brilliant to continue their education. The spirit of the project is to provide an opportunity to such girls to pursue their dreams and reach their potential through access to education. It has been seen that many girls drop out of school due to lack of necessities such as fees and uniform.

Merck Foundation Educating Linda program has contributed to the future of 100’s of girls in partnership with the African First Ladies as part of 'Merck Foundation More Than a Mother' campaign.

Please click on the links below to listen to songs created by Merck Foundation: • ABC 123 Song created to support education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z2i4Wh-bpk • Superwomen Song created to empower women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqBg9b0uG_c Details about Merck Foundation Africa Song Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021 Who can apply? All African Singers and Musical Artists are invited to create and share a SONG on MP3 with the aim to Empower Girls and Women through Education and at all levels.

Last Date of Submission 30th August 2021 How to Apply? Please share the work as an Audio File or YouTube link on: submit@merck-foundation.com The Subject line of the mail should mention: Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 Please specify name, country and contact details in the mail.

Prize Money: Position First Award Second Award Third Award Prize money USD 1000 USD 700 USD 500 For more information on the awards, please visit the company website: www.merck-foundation.com 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. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique 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 and The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU 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 Click on the link below to Download Merck Foundation App https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.merck.foundation&hl=en Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard Facebook: Merck Foundation Twitter: @Merckfoundation YouTube: MerckFoundation Instagram: Merck Foundation Flickr: Merck Foundation Website: www.merck-foundation.com 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 www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.

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