…Film Awards to combat infertility

After the successful launch of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Fashion Awards, Merck Foundation has launched another unique initiative to break the stigma around infertility in Ghana and rest of Africa

The philanthropic arm  of Merck KGaA Germany announces the Call for Application of  Merck More Than a Mother Film Awards  in partnership with the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo -Addo,  together with  Ghana National Film and TV Institute, NAFTI. NAFTI students are invited to create a film, drama or docudrama with the aim to deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say No to Infertility Stigma.

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The applicants are requested to send their entries as a Youtube link. The  closing date  for applications is  30th of June 2019.

”I strongly believe that art plays a significant role in raising awareness about sensitive topics like infertility, hence will contribute significantly to break the stigma around infertile women in Africa.

One of the great challenges today is that we often feel untouched by the problems of others, even when we can easily do something to help. Giving people access to data most often leaves them feeling overwhelmed and disconnected, not empowered and poised for action. This is where art can make a difference. We decided to launch this competition to select the best film that aims to remind our communities that Women are more than Just Mothers and Men are more than Just Fathers.

“It takes both a man and a woman to have a child,” emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother. Films can also deliver messages to encourage men to speak openly about their infertility, because 50 per cent of infertility cases are due to male factor, men too can be infertile, but they only blame women for the inability to have children. Through the films, we hope to create a cultural shift aiming to educate our communities that “fertility is a shared responsibility,” hence men should support their wives and join them during the treatment journey.

”Filmmakers, it’s time to showcase your talent and contribute towards making a difference in society with your unique films with strong and relevant messages about infertility.”  Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

The best three films will be selected by Merck More Than a Mother committee. Winners will be granted US$ 1000 each and will be celebrated during the Merck Africa Asia Luminary which will be conducted in Ghana on the 29th and 30th of October in presence of more than 15 African First Ladies and 1000 participants from more than 60 countries. Merck Foundation plans to scale up this initiative in many more African countries.

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Merck Foundation has been empowering many infertile women in Ghana, building a productive life for them by setting up businesses of their choice for them, as women are much more than just mothers. Merck Foundation has also provided technical training to four candidates from Ghana under their Merck Africa Embryology Training Program to help build capacity in the field of infertility in the country. The program will be scaled up under the umbrella of the long- term partnership with the First Lady of Ghana.

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