Merck Foundation in conjunction with First Ladies of Africa has introduced the “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African Countries as a way of fighting against COVID 19.
The African First Ladies of Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC ), Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry and Burundi among others with Merk foundation have decided to raise awareness to Africans about Coronavirus and how to stay safe and healthy through the media.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation, Dr Rasha Kelej, they decided to introduce the Media Recognition Awards for African Countries to encourage media practitioners to be creative and effective in raising awareness and sensitizing Communities on how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during Coronavirus lockdown.
“This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone, both physically and mentally. While most countries are under complete lockdown or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation. Social Distancing is our Social Responsibility and the only way to kill Coronavirus, however, it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it.
“Taking good care of your mental and physical health is important during this period. So, we decided to initiate these awards in order to reward the journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically & mentally healthy during this phase, ” said Kelej.
She added that all journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from African countries that speak English, French, Arabic, and Portuguese are invited to send their entries for the awards.
Kelej said the most creative and influential media work aiming to raise awareness and sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these awards.
She added that Merck Foundation will extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian Countries in the next few days to involve all media across the global South.
“Since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are spending a lot of time reading and listening to news through different platforms. Media professional, it is your time to help the people to take good care of their mental & physical health during these disturbing times, through your creative, informational and motivational work. You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine & rhythm of life, ” Kelej explained.
She said in each Media Category for those who will win the Awards, will get a prize money of up to USD 500.
She advised journalists to send more entries to showcase their work at a regular basis to increase their chances of winning.
The theme of the the “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards is ‘Raising awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.