Merck Foundation Launches “Educating Linda” Program to Support Education of Young Unprivileged but Brilliant Girls in Malawi

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in partnership with The First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA together with BEAM TRUST will support the education of girls of Stella Maris and Providence Girls Secondary Schools in Blantyre and Mulanje respectively.

In the two schools, The First Lady of Malawi and Merck foundation are leaving no girl behind and would like to see girls competing with boys in all fields of study including sciences and technology.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother emphasizes, “Merck Foundation is very keen on girl child education. It is sad to know that some brilliant girls drop out of school due to lack of basic school necessities such as fees and uniform. This is the reason why we are initiating this program to support educational needs so they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams.”

H.E. PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “Girls pursuing studies in all educational institutions in the country need to be dedicated and step into frontiers that are male dominated.”

The ‘Educating Linda’ project has been rolled out to help young unprivileged but brilliant, hardworking and sharp in class. The spirit of the project is to provide an opportunity to such girls to pursue their dreams in life through a quality education. Merck Foundation in partnership with Beam Trust will support education of these girls by providing school fees, school uniforms and other essentials including notebooks, blankets, pens and mathematical instruments.

Merck Foundation plans to launch the program in other countries in partnership with the First Ladies who are members in Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) as part of the ‘Call for Action’ of their latest meeting in Accra.

Dr. Rasha Kelej explained, “I am very happy with the passion that First Ladies have about girl education. I realize there’s need for more support as there are many brilliant girls out there who are struggling financially and socially to meet their educational needs. Therefore, we started ‘Educating Linda’ program to contribute to the future of these girls as part of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign. I strongly believe that empowering women starts with education to enable them to be healthier, stronger and independent. Women are more than mothers.”