Merck Foundation (https://www.Merck-Foundation.com/), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in partnership with The First Lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, H.E. MONICA GEINGOS together with Ministry of Health & Social Service and Ministry of Education launched an inspiring children storybook of Paulus and Nangula for children to strengthen family values of love and respect from young ages.

The book has a special message from H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother addressed to the young readers.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very happy to launch together with The First Lady of Namibia, H.E. MONICA GEINGOS and Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health & Social Service, Merck Foundation’s children storybook to emphasize strong family values of love and respect from young age which will reflect on eliminating the stigma of infertility and the resulted domestic violence in the future. The story of Paulus and Nangula is a story of a husband and wife who couldn’t have children, but they never lost love or respect for each other, the husband supported his wife during the fertility treatment journey and acknowledged that he too can be the cause of infertility, he went for treatment to have a lovely baby and lived happily ever after. He also acknowledged that even if they both couldn’t bring children for any reason that they will still love and respect each other’s because they are more than parents.”

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I believe we must prepare our children for tomorrow with the right family values of love and respect. Childless women still suffer from discrimination and ostracism. The storybook speaks against stigmatization. Therefore, I am happy to work closely with Merck Foundation to empower women and raise awareness among communities with special focus on the youth (both and girls) through this story. Women are not just mothers; they are productive members in society and should be respected. This book will help disseminating this message to the children and youth of our nation”.

Dr. Rasha Kelej explained further, “It’s important for parents and caregivers to start teaching respect and nurturing empathy from a very young age. We should teach boys these qualities at their schools and through media. I believe both boys and girls need the same kind of guidance. Just like girls, young boys gradually learn how to control their behavior during their pre-school and elementary school years. This story is our way to empower our boys to develop true respect for women and know few facts about Infertility and how it affects both men and women equally”.

“Reading Paulus’s story will teach our children to respect and value all people regardless of being parents or not. It will also help preparing our children for tomorrow with the right family values of love and respect. Everyone deserves respect and love, and should never ever be overlooked or, worse, abused —even if they are childless” concluded H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia.

The storybook was launched in a school in Windhoek, where a Theatre Group enacted the story for the audience.

Merck Foundation launched their programs in partnership with The First Lady of Namibia together with Ministry of Health & social Service and Ministry of Education to build equitable healthcare capacity, empower women & young girls and break the infertility stigma in the country.

Merck Foundation has been providing and will continue to provide training in the fields of Fertility, Diabetes and Cancer to Namibian doctors to build healthcare capacity in the country, Moreover, they will continue to train media to be able to sensitize the communities about breaking infertility stigma and empower childless women by providing information and awareness about the topic.

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