Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, successfully conducted the second edition of their reporting and engagement tool for their programs ‘90 Minutes with Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation CEO’ 2023 with the aim to update and discuss their programs and its impact and build advocacy to break infertility stigma, support girl education and transform patient care.
The session showcased Dr. Rasha Kelej engagement with Media Members, Merck Foundation Alumni, Merck Foundation Award Winners, Social Media Followers and other stakeholders on 17th February 2023, through a Videoconference to address several critical health and social issues, in addition to sharing her long experience, challenges, solutions and success stories with audiences in social media.
Link to Facebook Livestream of 90 Minutes with Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej:
As part of this important meeting, participants explored Senator, Dr. Rasha’s personal and professional sides through questions about her likes, dislikes, hobbies, personality, education, early life, career, achievements, success stories and challenges she overcame. Additionally, her vision and plans for achieving the objectives of the Merck Foundation, as well as her personal goals, were discussed.
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation expressed, “I am extremely happy to receive so much love during the session. ‘90 Minutes with Merck Foundation CEO’ , I really appreciate all of you, for giving me an opportunity to share my views, work, life and experience with many of our partners and stakeholders including our alumni, media members, award winners and also our social media followers. During the session, I answered a range of questions, and I was also able to update everyone about our programs and its impact, and the future plans. I hope the information I shared will be beneficial for many and motivate them to reach their potential and fulfill their dreams in life.”
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej has an experience spanning over 29 years. She has been recognized as One of the 100 Most Influential Africans in the world for 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022. She has also been appointed as Senator at The Egyptian Senate (2020 – 2025) and awarded Doctorate of Letters Honoris Causa.
“I was impressed with the range of questions that were asked during the meeting. I am happy that my followers and partners want to know more about every aspect of my work – life fusion concept. I feel connected to them after this one-on-one discussion”, emphasized Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej.
During the session, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej responded to each question with utmost grace and transparency. Below is the glimpse of the session.
“Can you tell us about your leadership style?” asked Dr. Ndikumana Sudi from Burundi.
Dr. Rasha responded,”I believe in leading with example. A leadership style should be inspirational but should also be situational. I change my leadership style according to the situation and stage I am in. As a leader, it is very important for one to be alert of the circumstance one is dealing with, the stage we are in because time is very critical. You cannot be the same personality in all situations with everyone at all times. Successful Leadership style should be agile and multidimensional.
If there is a disaster and the crisis have to be managed, one has to be very quick and autocratic. Here, the decision has to be made on time so you take the steering wheel in your hand and just go for it because time is very important and critical in this situation.
When there is a luxury of time, and planning, then it can be dealt in a democratic way. You take opinions, and then chose the best and most suitable opinions and ideas .
But, overall, a leadership style always has to be very inspirational and leading by example. People need to see how you deal with problems, what are your set of work values or ethical values and you set an example with that.”
Rebecca Tetteh, PeaceFM from Ghana acknowledged Dr. Rasha’s work on educating Linda Program. She asked, “It’s commendable how you work under the educating Linda program as it supports the education of many young, talented African girls. Can you tell us more about it?
Dr. Rasha responded, “ Educating Linda is a very basic program where we provide grants to schoolgirls through our local partners to support their education. However, what we do differently is that we use unique ways to raise awareness and build advocacy for the same. We created many songs to promote girl education that can be aired on TV and radios like “Girl Can” by Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana, “Yes, You Can” by Blaze and Tamyris Moiane from Mozambique, “Superwoman” by Cwezi and Adina from Ghana, “Like Them” by Kenneth Mugabi from Uganda, and “I am Not Anyone’s Bride, Take Me to School” by Wezi from Zambia. We have collaborated with artists around the word to encourage community to support girl’s education and create a change of mindset towards perception of girls in education through innovative and creative new ways, as we believe in reaching and catching children when they are younger.
Watch, share & subscribe the “Girl Can” song here, sung by two famous singers, Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana respectively:
Watch, share & subscribe the “Like Them” song here, sung by Kenneth, a famous singer from Uganda:
Our Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” Awards is also a step towards encouraging communities to empower women and support girl education. So, our program isn’t different but our ways of advocating the social issue are novel.”
“After the success of the first livestream meeting, I have received request from many of our stakeholders to conduct a series of similar engaging meetings often. I am planning to do conduct such meeting on a regular basis. Stay tuned to know about the next session!”, added Dr. Kelej.