In Africa, when a woman gets married, the society expects that she bears a child within a year or two. For Grace Kabini, “Mama Chips”, it did not work out that way.
Nine years into her marriage she realized that she could not bear children. She suffered abuse from her husband, and in-laws to the point where the stress resulted in her getting diabetes.
Grace owns a small shop in Kibera where she sells chips to help provide for her daily needs. The shop was dilapidated and now everything has transformed.
Thanks to the “Empowering Berna” project through the Merck more than a Mother campaign, Grace is now enjoying a better quality of life. She now runs a new and larger shop that stocks fruits and vegetables, plus she received a new chips fryer and a glass storage unit that helps keep freshly-made chips warm. Her customers are happy; they no longer complain about the smoke from the stove she used to use to make chips as she now has a new fryer. Merck also supports Grace by supplying her with diabetes management drugs.
Grace’s health has improved significantly and her faith in humanity has been restored. “I remember my life before Merck found me, I spent a lot of time in hospitals,” Grace recounts, “But since Merck came to my help, I stopped falling sick often, which makes me very grateful.”
Grace’s business used to be dilapidated, the door to her stall was falling apart, and the iron roof was rusted. However, Merck expanded the shop, gave it a fresh coat of paint –Her business got a face lift and an expansion. The shop is now attractive and stands out.
“It is very important to empower infertile women through improving access to awareness and fertility care so they can bear children as part of their human rights,” Rasha Kelej, Chief Social Officer of Merck Healthcare remarked. “In cases where they can no longer be treated, Empowering Berna project will contribute towards empowering and training them to establish their own small business so that they can be independent and re-build their own lives. A woman is more than a mother, Empowering Berna initiative proves this everyday.”
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This is part two of Sponsored posts to raise awareness on infertility among women. Mother campaign is a part the Merck Capacity Advancement program. This is the social responsibility arm of Merck Group that seeks to expand the professional healthcare capacity focusing on Africa and developing countries. Part 1 is here.