Local songs; A strong strategy to create awareness and empower women in Africa.


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By Matilda Owusu

The Annual Conference of Merck Foundation took place last week in Accra, Ghana, in partnership with the First Lady of Ghana, H.E. Rebecca Akufo Addo to raise awareness and build healthcare capacity.
During the conference, an amazing song was released with the aim to empower African girls and women in education and motivate them to pursue their dreams and reach their potential.

The song was partnership of Merck Foundation and First Lady of Ghana.

The beautiful song was appreciated by the audience of more than more than 1000 healthcare providers, policy makers and media from 60 countries. Also, the song was shared with the local people of Ghana through various TV Channels. The response received on the song by the people of the country is overwhelming. Prof. Ashiru, President of African Fertility Society emphasized, “I was touched by this song and I found it worth sharing with my family, friends, colleagues and everyone I know, or get to know. I found myself saying, did you watch the video of this new song of Merck Foundation to empower women, it is an amazing song. Many of us even had tears in my eyes when I heard and watched the video”.

Hon. Mary Thom Navicha, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Republic of Malawi explained “It is very important to know what are the future plans for this song. Is it going to be broadcasted on different Radio FM and TV across Africa?  We want media persons across our continent to know about this beautiful song so they can share it with their followers and readers to contribute to this vision of empowering women and girls and be part of this historic campaign “More than a Mother”. African journalists have the power to take this song to the masses. Encouraging everyone to listen and watch this amazing song then share on their platforms so that every little girl in the heart of Africa get to watch it and understand that the sky is the limit for her. And that she can be anything she wants to be.”

The women empowerment song has been written and sung by Cwesi and Adina, famous local singers from Ghana and this amazing concept was by Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother. She is an African lady who dedicated her genius mind to empower women and youth and break the stigma of infertility through Merck Foundation.

On asking what makes her think of creating and producing this song and other songs in local languages in different countries, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother explained, “This song especially is a very special song as it communicates the key message of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ that women are more than just mothers. They are integral and indispensable members of society. Through this song, we have tried to portray the different roles women are playing and can play in our society. Through this song, I want to give out a message to all the girls to be dedicated and step into frontiers that are male dominated. You can be a Doctor, Engineer, Judge, Scientist, Pilot, Banker, Investor, Minister and President. Believe in yourself, you can advance our Africa”

It is very impressive to see that The First Ladies of Malawi, Liberia and Burundi who are also the Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother”, emphasize that they are working closely with Merck Foundation to send out the message that women are more than just mothers and educating them is very important. Education is the only thing that no one can take away from you.  Together with Merck Foundation, they too are supporting education of underprivileged but brilliant girls through providing the fees and other expenses so they can complete their education and become productive members in their societies. This is all through a program called “Educating Linda” which has been launched this year in the three countries and will be scaled up to the rest of the continent.
Women from all fields should come and volunteer in this program and to be ambassadors of Merck More Than a Mother.

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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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Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma.