Message from CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator Rasha Kelej, on partnering with Botswana First Lady marking the International Day of ‘Elimination of Violence against Women’ by announcing Best Poster Contest to “STOP GBV”




I am proud to announce the Stop GBV” Best Poster Competition in partnership with H.E Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana and Ambassador of Merck More Than A Mother, with the aim to prevent gender-based violence and child abuse in the country.

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 through this Best Poster Contest.

I believe this is the first time that an African First Lady Cycle across her country for a cause. It was also great to see amazing support, the President of Botswana, H.E. Mr. MASISI gave to his lovely wife, First Lady, and mother of Botswana, and to all of us to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. I salute my dear sister, Mrs. NEO JANE MASISI for her great efforts and innovative idea to Stop Gender-Based Violence and encourage us to take a stand against GBV and child abuse.

The “Stop GBV” Poster Contest will be Merck Foundation’s and The Botswana First Lady’s aim to contribute towards eliminating gender-based violence from Botswana.


Violence against girls, women, and children continues to be a pressing issue not only in Africa but everywhere across the globe, and with the event of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the “Stop GBV” Best Poster Competition in partnership with The First Lady of Botswana, we hope to bring a change in our societies and convey that prevention of gender-based violence is a basic human right.

Kind regards,
Dr. Rasha Kelej,
CEO of Merck Foundation
President of Merck More Than A Mother
One of the 100 Most Influential Africans (2019, 2020)





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