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Merck Foundation Released Children Storybook Not Who You Are to Mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls


Accra, Ghana & Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:

  • Merck Foundation also released a story book for children ‘Not Who You Are’, a story of a young couple – Mukama and Amina that experienced Gender Based Violence, overcame it, and decided to move along together to spend a happy and content life
  • Merck Foundation continues its efforts to raise awareness about violence against females, empowering girls and women through education and tries to bring in a culture shift through art

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, released two songs – ‘Girl Can’ in English by singers from Ghana and Liberia, Cwezi & Irene respectively, and ‘Yes, You Can’ in Portuguese by Blaze, a singer from Mozambique, to support Girl education and women empowerment which will help them make informed choice and know those right of not accepting any kind of violence whether physical or mental violence.
“This is our way at Merck Foundation to mark the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls’ because we strongly believe that education is the only powerful weapon to eradicate all violence against women and to advance women’s empowerment. I invite all of you to enjoy listening to both songs by Merck Foundation. I am proud to be the executive producer of both songs.” Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized.
“I truly believe that Education is Power and educating girls is empowering them to make their own decisions, aiding them to access economic opportunities, and stand up for their rights thus, helping in preventing gender-based violence and child abuse. With the release of these songs on The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021 we, at Merck Foundation, would like to encourage everyone to work together to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in our communities. To mark ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls’, Merck Foundation has also released a children storybook called “Not Who You Are” to teach boys to love and respect their future wives. Moreover, to teach children about family values of love and respect. “We have to work together to create a culture shift and stop violence against women and girls through all sectors and all settings.” Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
Merck Foundation continues its efforts to raise awareness about violence against females, empowering girls and women through education and tries to bring in a culture shift through media, art and fashion.
Below are the details of both the songs released as a part of the Merck Foundation Educating Linda program:
1. Watch, share & subscribe the “Girl Can” song here, sung by two famous singers, Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana respectively:
In this song, two girls are portrayed, one uneducated and therefore powerless to fight injustices and another who has gone to school and fought for her due rights to live a happy life.
2. Watch share & subscribe: “Tu Podes Sim” Portuguese song, which means “Yes, You Can” in English, here, sung by two famous singers, Hot Blaze and Tamyris Moiane, talented singers from Mozambique 
The song narrates the story of a young underprivileged girl who struggles through many hardships to complete her education and eventually succeeds in obtaining a good education and having a successful career.  
To read the interesting story, “Not Who You Are” click on the link below:
Click here
“I strongly believe that with education comes empowerment, self-assurance and the ability to determine the right from the wrong, therefore as a woman I would like to urge other women that they should not be silent in case they are facing violence of any kind. I have tried to communicate this very important message through these songs. Moreover, African music artists and musicians are known for their versatility and ability to spread important messages through music. I believe Music and Art have the capacity and influence to make the problem felt, which further stimulates emotions and leads to engagement and action. I think that these songs will add significant value to influence the culture change we are advocating.”, added Senator Dr. Kelej.
“Violence against girls, women, and children remains one of the most widespread and devastating violations of human rights not only in Africa but in our world today. Moreover, since the outbreak of COVID-19, all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, have worsened. However, this largely is unreported due to lack of girls’ education, silence, stigma, and shame. With the event of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021 and the release of the two songs “Girl Can” and “Yes, You Can”, together with children storybook “Not Who You Are” we hope to bring a change in our society and convey that preventing violence against women is a human right that can only be achieved by educating girls”, added Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej. CEO of Merck Foundation.

About Merck Foundation Educating Linda Program

Merck Foundation has launched ‘Educating Linda’ in 2019 to help young girls who are unprivileged but brilliant to continue their education. The spirit of the project is to provide an opportunity to such girls to pursue their dreams and reach their potential through access to education. It has been seen that many girls drop out of school due to lack of necessities such as fees and uniform. Merck Foundation supports education of some of the high performing girls by providing scholarship and grants that can cover school fees, school uniforms and other essentials including notebooks, pens and mathematical instruments, so they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams.

Merck Foundation Educating Linda program has contributed to the future of 100’s of girls in partnership with the African First Ladies as part of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign, from countries such as: Ghana, Burundi, Malawi, Niger and Liberia.
About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign
“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child. 
The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:

The First Lady of Botswana

H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo

H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique

H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso

H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia


The First Lady of Burundi

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana

H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia

H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone

H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville

H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;


  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
  • Children storybook, localized for each country

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

Click here for Media Contact Details

Mehak Handa (Community Awareness Program Manager), Merck Foundation, [email protected], +91-9310087613/+91-9319606669

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