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Merck Foundation Launches FOUR Award Schemes…Urges Media To Break Stigma Around Infertility

A media training workshop has been organized for over 1500 African and Latin American Journalists from more than 35 countries with a charge to be the voice to the voiceless as far as stigmatization against infertile women is concerned.

The Merck Foundation Health Media Training was held via zoom on the sidelines of the 8th Edition of “MERCK FOUNDATION AFRICA ASIA LUMINARY”

Top fertility experts including Ghana's Dr. Edem K. Hiadzi, President, Fertility Society, and media experts from other countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritius, Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire gave various addresses on how to prevent and treat infertility as well as eradicating the stigma surrounding infertility.

The key point that was dominant in almost all the addresses is the fact that it is wrong to blame the woman if there's an inability to have children; it can also be the fault of the man.

In her opening address, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation urged the media to help influence society and raise awareness on infertility and girl/woman empowerment.

"I strongly believe in the important role that media plays to influence our society to create a cultural shift with the aim to break the stigma around Infertility, raising awareness about Infertility Prevention and Empowering Girls and Women through Education. The media has helped save a lot of women being stigmatized but there’s more to be done; that is why we want to reach out to more media representatives in more countries to encourage them to continue working to save women as well as men; because the men are also under societal pressure…" she pointed out.

She then launched four award schemes which include: 

-Merck Foundation FASHION AWARDS “More than a Mother” 2021

-"Mask up with care" Media Recognition Award

-Merck Foundation SONG AWARDS “More Than a Mother” 2021

-Merck Foundation “Make Your Own Mask” FASHION AWARDS 2021

"Mask up with care" Media Recognition Award

She encouraged all media representatives across Africa, Asia and Latin America to apply for "Mask up with care" Media Recognition Award. This media recognition award will encourage media to sensitize their communities as well as raising awareness about coronavirus in communities.  This is also to raise awareness on infertility prevention, breaking infertility stigma, and empowering girls and women through education.

Meanwhile, below are the details of the Merck Foundation “MASK UP WITH CARE” Media Recognition Awards 2021:

Who can apply:

Journalists from Print, Radio, Online, and Multimedia platforms from the following groups:
1. Southern African Countries
2. West African Countries
3. East African Countries
4. African French Speaking Countries
5. African Portuguese Speaking Countries
6. Latin American Countries
7. Asian Countries

How to Apply:

Entries can be submitted via email to: [email protected] by 30th September 2021

The Subject line of the mail should mention: Merck Foundation “MASK UP WITH CARE” Media Recognition Awards 2021
Please specify your name, country, category of application, and contact details in the mail.

Merck Foundation Make Your Own Mask Fashion 2021

This is for all African Fashion Designers and Students. The main purpose is for them to create and share designs of masks and other clothing items that carry messages to encourage people to wear masks to show they care. 

The last date of Submission is 30th September 2021 and applicants are to send their sketches to [email protected] 

The Subject line for the email should mention: “Merck Foundation Make Your Own Mask Fashion Awards 2021.”

Merck Foundation More Than a Mother – Song Awards 2021

The Merck Foundation More Than a Mother song Awards 2021 for African countries is also to fight infertility stigma.

Dr Rasha Kelej strongly believes in the important role that art and media play to sensitize communities and address sensitive issues like Infertility stigma, empowering girls through education, and so on. This award is therefore to invite all African Singers and Musical Artists to create and share a song on MP3 with the aim to empower Girls and Women through Education at all levels.

Last date of Submission: 30th August 2021

How to Apply: Please share your work as an Audio file or as YouTube link to [email protected]

Please note, that the Subject line for the email should mention: Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021. “

Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021

Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 for African countries is for designers to "showcase your talent and contribute towards making a difference in society with your unique creations” according to Dr Rasha Kelej.

All Fashion students and designers are invited to create and share designs that deliver strong and influential messages to raise awareness about infertility prevention, Breaking Infertility Stigma and Empowering girls and women through education.

The applicants are requested to send us the sketches of their original creations as an attachment on email: [email protected]com

Please mention the subject: Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 Add your name, institution name, and your contact details in the email.