Kampala [Uganda]/ Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 29 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany has launched the Second Episode of their first-ever TV program – ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ on Saturday, April 23, 2022 on KTN, Kenya and Sunday, April 24 on NTV, Uganda. The theme for the Second Episode is raising awareness about Ending Child Marriage and Supporting Girl Education in Africa. ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ has been receiving great feedback from viewers of these channels so far, the first episode focused on raising awareness about the prevention of Diabetes amongst African communities.
Watch the Second Episode promo here:Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation expressed, “Firstly, I would like to thank all the viewers and followers for the amazing response we have received for the first two episodes of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’. Our social media is flooded with lovely and inspiring messages from the viewers! The love we are receiving from everyone is indeed very encouraging and keeps pushing us to work harder to address sensitive social and health issues in our beloved Africa.””The second episode of the show focused on addressing two important issues in Africa: – Ending Child Marriage and Supporting Girl Education in Africa, through our Fashion and Art with Purpose Community. I strongly believe that education is a crucial factor for economic well-being in Africa and a strong strategy to not only women empowerment but also to address other issues also like Stopping GBV, FGM, breaking Infertility Stigma and STDs prevention. Girl education is also the best vaccine for HIV and is considered the best investment in the global economy,” emphasized Senator, Dr Kelej.
In Africa, 4 out of 10 girls are forced to marry before they turn 18 years of age. Their education suffers due to this, making way for another pertinent issue of lack of education amongst the female population. Culturally, the girl child is expected to only perform domestic duties – cooking, cleaning, looking after older members of the household, bearing and taking care of children, and much more, these factors affect her education and are a hindrance to her dreams and goals in life. Other reasons such as schools located far away from their home, unsafe travel to school, and unhygienic conditions in school are a few reasons girls across Africa are deprived of an education.
Watch the Second Episode here:The second episode featured popular singers – Wezi from Zambia and Kenneth from Uganda. The singers presented a new song created to support Girl Education during the episode. Fashion designers from Senegal – Safietou Seck and Aicha Fatou Gaye featured in this episode and showcased their designs that displayed strong and relevant messages on the importance of Girl Education and the need to end Girl Child Marriage. Merck Foundation’s popular song – ABC, 123 by Sean K, Namibia to support girl education and encourage girls and boys to study hard and fulfill their dreams, also features in this episode.
Merck Foundation has released many inspiring children’s storybooks and songs on women empowerment supporting girls’ education.
1. Watch, share and subscribe to the “Girl Can” song here, sung by two famous singers, Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana respectively:4. Read Jackline’s Rescue Storybook, here:5. Read Ride into the Future Storybook here:”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. This will help her make better decisions to fulfill her goals, in this journey she will also be able to take better care of her family. I feel extremely proud that through or ‘Educating Linda’ program in partnership with African First Ladies, we have been able to secure the future of hundreds of young and brilliant girl students by providing them scholarships and grants. 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. More than 1300 medical graduates have benefitted from this program so far. I am very proud that out of these over 600 are female medical graduates. This is close to 50 per cent of the total beneficiaries, which is a great milestone for us.””We at Merck Foundation strongly believe that education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment. It is only through education that women will be able to be stronger, healthier, independent and fulfil their dreams,” added Senator, Dr Rasha.
‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ is a pan African TV program that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation to feature Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent guests from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa. The show is co-hosted by Brian Mulondo from Uganda. The TV program is currently being broadcasted in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana the show will also soon be aired in other African countries. Below are the details of the channels on which the TV show is being aired:- Every Saturday @ 5:30 pm (EAT) on KTN, Kenya- Every Sunday @ 6:30 pm (EAT) on NTV Uganda- Every Sunday @ 2 pm on (GMT) GHOne TV, GhanaWatch the Promo of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ here:”I am very excited to bring to you all the upcoming episodes of ‘OUR AFRICA by Merck Foundation’ TV program. So, stay tuned and be ready to Get informed, Get healthy, and Get entertained!” concluded Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej.
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