Merck Foundation CEO and Botswana First Lady inaugurate STOP GBV posters awards ceremony together as part of “More than a Mother” Campaign


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Merck Foundation and Botswana First Lady announce the winners of “STOP GBV” Poster Contest 

Watch Video - Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej & Botswana First Lady announce the winners of "STOP GBV" Poster Contest.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, together with H.E. Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana and Ambassador of Merck More Than A Mother, announced the winners of “Stop GBV” Best Poster Contest during award ceremony. The Poster Contest was held with the aim to prevent Gender-Based Violence and child abuse in Botswana.

Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp Chairman of both of Executive Board of E.Merck KG and Merck Foundation Board of Trustees was the Guest of Honor of the ceremony to support the program and advocate for ending Gender-Nased Violence in Botswana and rest of Africa as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother campaign.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than A Mother, who joined the award ceremony virtually, emphasized “I am proud to announce the winners  of “Stop GBV” Best Poster Contest together with my dear sister H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana and Ambassador of Merck More Than A Mother. We have worked with the jury committee to select the most creative and inspiring work advocating one of the key contest objectives. This initiative is part of Merck foundation more than a Mother campaign.

Watch Live Streamimg of the award ceremony

In 2020, I virtually joined the Botswana First Lady, during her cycling tour to STOP GBV and marked the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls together. I salute my dear sister, The First Lady of Botswana, for her great efforts and innovative idea to stop Gender-Based Violence and encourage us to take a stand against GBV and child abuse”.

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana and Ambassador of Merck More Than A Mother said, “We launched the “Stop GBV” Poster Contest together with Merck Foundation, so as to advocate against Gender-Based Violence in Botswana. I am very happy to award the winners, who have shared some brilliant work. We will continue our joint efforts to fight against GBV, protect humanity, especially the girls and women. The COVID pandemic gave rise to violence against girls, women and children. GBV has destroyed families and promoted disunity within communities, both at national and international level; and this initiative to demonstrate our effort to fight for this cause, and eradicate GBV from our societies.”

The “Stop GBV” Poster Contest was held across Botswana and the aim of the contest was to select the most creative and inspiring work. The contest objectives were: 1) Stop Gender-Based Violence, 2) Take a stand against GBV and child abuse, 3) Help people understand that GBV is unacceptable and evil, 4) Promote Zero tolerance of GBV, and 5) Demonstrate that GBV can be emotional, financial, physical, and sexual. 

“I am looking forward to joining the next cycling tour and to launch the second edition of this poster contest in partnership with the First Lady of Botswana in 2021”, added Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation will also continue to build healthcare capacity by providing Merck Foundation scholarships of one year diploma and two year master degree in many Medical specialities with the aim to transform the healthcare landscape and improve patient care in Botswana, specially during coronavirus pandemic.

“We have provided till today scholarships to more than 39 Doctors in Botswana in different critical specialities such as: Oncology, Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicines, Acute Medicines and Sexual and Reproductive, which is also very important to advancing women health and reproductive health. It is very critical to empower girls and women against many challenges and specially against GBV. Access to health, awareness and education is an important key to stop gender-based violence”, explained Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.

We have worked with the jury committee to select the most creative and inspiring work that advocates one of the key contest objectives of stopping GBV.

The first three award winners of the “STOP GBV” Poster Contest are:

First Position: TAMUCHA TULU



Moreover, the below 10 winners were awarded with a Special Award:




Click here to view all images from the Award Ceremony of the  “Stop GBV” Best Poster Contest 


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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 to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.