Merck Foundation Partners DRC’s First Lady To Support Livelihood Of Women

…Casual Workers Also Affected By Coronavirus Lockdown


The philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany Merck Foundation has partnered with the First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi to support livelihood of women and families of casual and daily workers who are most affected by the Coronavirus (COVID -19) lockdown.

CEO of Merck Foundation explained, Dr. Rasha Kelej “Lockdown to control coronavirus is going to hit most casual and daily workers very hard. Therefore, Merck Foundation decided to support African governments strategy to save the people’s living and livelihood. We have also undertaken similar relief activity in Egypt as well as in Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Niger in partnership with their First Ladies to further support 600 to 1000 poor families in Each country as part of “Separated but Connected” Merck Foundation Initiative”.

The First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo and Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother emphasized, Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi “We are happy with our long-term partner Merck Foundation for their support during this time. It is important for us to take care of those affected severely by the coronavirus lockdown.”

Dr. Kelej explained, “I’d like to shed a light on a very important issue; The pandemic has led to a horrifying increase in violence against women. Women and girls are under higher risk of domestic violence due to increased tensions in the household. Many of these women are currently trapped with their abusers, struggling to access any support service, they are lonely and suffering in silence. Therefore, Merck Foundation in partnership with African First Ladies supports casual workers with special focus on women as part of our signature campaign Merck More than a Mother”.

Merck Foundation has also launched their ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards in partnership with the First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo in the country, Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi. The theme of the awards is ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.

Dr. Kelej further explained, “The ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards will encourage media to sensitize our communities. Raising awareness about coronavirus in our communities will contribute to supporting health workers who are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, it will also enhance their great efforts in leading community dialogue to address fears and questions. Our hearts and thoughts are with them”.

The awards are open to all the journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from French speaking African Countries. The awards have been also announced in English, Portuguese and Arabic speaking African countries. It is also announced for Asian countries and middle eastern countries. The most creative and influential media work aiming to raise awareness and sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these awards.

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