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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Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), 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.

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.

Link to the Live Streamimg of the award ceremony: https://bit.ly/3fxQWPL

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

First Position: TAMUCHA TULU

Second Position: ELIJAH MAPHAKELA

Third Position:  MOHUMAGADI MORUTI

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

1.       TSOTLHE MORAKENYANE

2.       THANDIE SIBANDA

3.       THAPELO LETSHWITI

4.       SADE. S RABASHA

5.       THATAYAMODIMO THEKISO

6.       TRUDY BAKWENA

7.       MALEBOGO W. RANTLHOTSE

8.       KUMBULANI MACHOLA

9.       TSHEPANG MOGOTSI

10.     MAIKANO MOJIWA

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