First Lady meets foundation leaders to drum up support for education, health

First Lady Madame Monica Chakwera on Tuesday met Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for Merck Foundation and Sparkle Foundation to lobby for more support towards education and health in Malawi.

The two CEOs have reaffirmed their commitment in changing lives of the less privileged in Malawi.

Madame Monica Chakwera meets with Sparkle Foundation Founder CEO, Sarah Brook at Grand Hyatt hotel in Dubai-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana (3)

Speaking after meeting Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother at the Merck Foundation offices in Dubai, Madame Chakwera said the vision of the two foundations are in line with her passion for Malawi.

“I met up with the two leaders of the foundations that are working in Malawi to familiarize myself with the work they have been doing and create a rapport with them so that we are able to work as a team since we have the same passion for the country’s education and health care,” she said.

Madame Chakwera recognizes the great work the two foundations are doing in complementing government efforts.

“Merck Foundation has a lot of programmes in education and health care that has seen many girls being sponsored with school fees as well as medical practitioners getting specialized trainings,” she said.

Madame Chakwera said the meetings enabled them look at scaling up these interventions to reach out to more beneficiaries.

In an interview, Kelej said they were honoured with the visit by the Malawi First Lady which, she said, enabled them discuss best ways of building healthcare capacity, empowering girl’s education and breaking the stigma of infertility in Malawi.

Madame Monica Chakwera meets Merck Foundation Senator, Rasha Kelej in Dubai, United Arab Emirates-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

“Merck Foundation works with First Ladies from many African countries including Malawi to provide specialty training to Malawian doctors in various fields such as: Oncology, Diabetes, Fertility, Embryology, Respiratory Care, Acute Medicines, Sexual and Reproductive Medicines to transform the public healthcare sector,” she said.

Merck Foundation was established in 2017. It is a philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA of German that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology.

The First Lady also met the founder and CEO of Sparkle Foundation, Sarah Brook at Hyatt Hotel where she committed towards supporting orphans and vulnerable children.

“We meet the First Lady so that we can collaborate and scale up our programmes across Malawi. We have a model that we are ready to replicate and through Her Excellency we are hoping to expand throughout Malawi,” said Brook.

Sparkle Foundation is currently supporting 10,000 people in Malawi in 17 villages in Traditional Authority (TA) Mwambo in Zomba by providing community education, medical support and nutrition.

The Foundation has an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre, a primary after school club, youth club, women’s group, adult literacy, nutrition programs, community outreach programs, an on-site medical clinic and an ambulance in TA Mwambo.

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