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Merck Foundation TV program to raise awareness of child marriage and support girl education

Merck Foundation TV program to raise awareness of child marriage and support girl education

The Merck Foundation launched the second episode of their TV program, ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’, late in April. The theme for the second episode is ‘raising awareness about ending child marriage and supporting girl education in Africa.

Senator, Dr Rasha Keleji, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation thanks all the viewers and followers for the amazing response they have received for the first and second episodes of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’.

“Our social media is flooded with lovely and inspiring messages from the viewers and 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,” she added.

She further explained that the second episode of the show focused on addressing ending child marriage and supporting girl education in Africa, through the Foundations 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 gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, 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,” she emphasised.

Keleji said she strongly believes that girl education is the best investment in the global economy, when a girl is educated, she is better equipped to be financially independent. This will help her make better decisions to fulfil 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,” she said.

She explained that these scholarships and grants covered school fees, school uniforms and other essentials including notes, pens and mathematical instruments, so these young girls can realize their potential and pursue their dream.

Kelej added that in partnership with the African First Ladies, they have been building healthcare capacity through providing training to healthcare providers in many medical specialities. “more than 1 300 medical graduates have benefited from this program as far. I am very proud that out of these over 600 are female medical graduates. This is close to 50% of the total beneficiaries, which is a great milestone for us,” she said.

She further said they strongly believe that education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment and it is only through education that women will be able to be stronger, healthier, independent and fulfil their dreams.

“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,” she emphasised.

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, which 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.


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