BUJUMBURA – Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with The First lady of Burundi and her foundation, Buntu Foundation, released an empowering song, a theme song for Merck more than a Mother campaign as a courtesy to all infertile women in Burundi and Africa.
“The objective of the song is to break the stigma around infertility in Africa and rest of the world as part of Merck more than a Mother community awareness campaign”, said Dr. Rasha Kelej CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother.
The song has been composed by Merck More Than a Mother Song Award winners, a very talented band from Burundi
Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasizes, “I thank my sister, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother for her creativity. This beautiful French Song “Plus Qu’une Mere” which mean “More than a Mother” communicates an important message to the society that women are more than just mothers, they are valuable and productive members in society whether they have children or not. It also speaks about the stigma around infertility, gives an important message that fertility is a shared responsibility and men should support women during their treatment journey. It makes me very happy to discover young African talents and work closely with them to create an important cultural shift in our societies”.
Madam Denise Nkurunziza, The First Lady of Burundi, President of Buntu Foundation and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized “The objective of this song is to empower infertile women in Burundi and send out the message to the entire African community that infertility is not a stigma. It is our contribution towards Merck More Than a Mother, an important campaign by Merck Foundation”
“The song addresses infertility stigma with the aim of raising awareness about male infertility and sensitizing the community that #MenToo can suffer infertility not only women, and call upon every husband to share the journey of infertility treatment with his wife” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
The song addresses infertility stigma with the aim of raising awareness about male infertility
The band was selected at a special competition held between ten local choir groups from Burundi during the launch of Merck Foundation in Burundi in March 2019.
Merck Foundation has been working at all levels to bring in a cultural shift in the African society and has been advocating for the women who aren’t able to bear children against the discrimination, isolation, and violence.
Other than this song, Merck Foundation has launched 14 local songs with famous singers from, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Gambia to raise awareness about male infertility and to break the Stigma around Infertile women in Africa such as Tom Close from Rwanda for “Life is bigger” song and Sunita from Gambia for “More than a Mother” song. Moreover, H.E. First Lady of Burundi has composed three songs in French, English, and Kurundi.
Merck Foundation has worked closely with local singers in Zambia to create songs that address the same issue to sensitize the community with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women. Another project in the pipeline is the Pan African song with six singers from six countries of west and east Africa.
Merck Foundation plans to release these songs to all African TV and Radios soon.
“Art has the capacity and influence to make the problem felt, which further stimulates emotions and leads to engagement and action. Hence we used this medium to address the issue of infertility and stigma attached to it. I personally believe that this song will add significant value to influence the culture change we are advocating in Burundi and the rest of Africa” concluded Dr. Rasha Kelej.