Merck Foundation’s Our Africa TV Program – Second Episode Raises Awareness on Ending Child Marriage and Supporting Girl Education in Africa

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Business Wire 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 their social media handles.

‘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 African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa.

The TV program has been broadcasted on prime TV stations of many countries like KTV in Kenya, NTV in Uganda, and GH One TV in Ghana and ZNBC in Zambia, AYV in Sierra Leone and LTV, Liberia, and it immediately captured the attention and hearts of millions of viewers across Africa. “Our Africa” TV Program will soon be broadcast on TV 3 in Ghana, BTV in Botswana, KTN in Kenya and QTV in The Gambia. “Our Africa” TV Program is currently on social media handles of Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube) and Merck Foundation (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube).

The theme for the Second Episode is Raising awareness about Ending Child Marriage and Supporting Girl Education in Africa.

Watch the Second Episode promo here: https://youtu.be/6x4SfGmPByw

Watch the Second Episode here: https://youtu.be/g5wpzOr22l0

The show is co-hosted by Brian Mulondo from Uganda.
 
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 our TV Program ‘Our Africa’. 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 to be the voice of the voiceless 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 not to only women empowerment but also to address other issues such as; Stopping GBV, FGM, breaking Infertility Stigma and STDs prevention. I believe Girl education is the best vaccine for HIV and the best investment in the global economy,” emphasized Senator, Dr. Rasha 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 & 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.

The second episode featured popular singers – Wezi from Zambia and Kenneth from Uganda. Merck foundation presented new two songs by the above singers which created specially to support Girl Education and ending Chios marriage 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 featured in this episode.

Merck Foundation has released many inspiring children’s storybooks and songs on women empowerment supporting girls’ education, enjoy watching and reading the below songs and storybooks:
 

  1. Watch, share & subscribe to the “Girl Can” song here, sung by two famous singers, Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana respectively: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LP92vAWYgs
     
  2. Watch share & subscribe to “Tu Podes Sim” Portuguese song, which means “Yes, You Can” in English, here, sung by two famous singers, Blaze and Tamyris Moiane, talented singers from Mozambique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGWR2S-mxl4 
     
  3. Read Educating Linda Storybook, here: https://merck-foundation.com/merckfoundation/public/uploads/digital_library/1623068469_6affa28d861b48da41cf.pdf
     
  4. Read Jackline’s Rescue Storybook, here: https://merck-foundation.com/merckfoundation/public/uploads/digital_library/1639990408_efbd2346fb16c605c12d.pdf
     
  5. Read Ride into the Future Storybook here: https://merck-foundation.com/merckfoundation/public/uploads/digital_library/1639993429_cca7a831eeb6dbe2c188.pdf
     

“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. Out of the total 1470 scholarships provided, more than 650 scholarships have been provided to female medical graduates. This is close to 45% 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.

Watch the Promo of ‘Our Africa by Merck Foundation’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOdXqQUdkm8