Merck’s ‘Empowering Berna’ Initiative helps infertile woman from Kibera
|“I ask myself every day – ‘Who I am in this world? Is this the life I was meant to live?’ there is no one to love or help me” – Grace Kambini|
“I remember asking my husband, how long I will continue to live this misery. He replied -You refuse to leave my house as if your parents are dead, if they are dead you should ask them to open their grave so you may join them. You are of no use to me-. Every time I remember his insult or talk about it, I feel faint and out of breath. Due to the stress I endured I suffered hypertension and Diabetes, now my life is about injecting insulin day and night.”
Fifty-seven year old Grace Kambini popularly known as “Mama Chips” lives in Kibera. She got married out of societal expectations, whereby women are expected to get married to earn respect from their communities.
After nine years of marriage, she realized that she could not give birth. Both her husband and his relatives started abusing and insulting Grace. Her story continues to get several views on social media via the popular Merck More Than a Mother campaign. The campaign seeks to reduce the stigmatization and social suffering of infertile women in Africa. Watch Grace’s story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0x09hWiuiY
The “Empowering Berna” initiative began under the Merck More Than a Mother campaign, and it aims to empower underprivileged infertile women who have past the stage of receiving treatment. The initiative helps them establish their own small business and build their own independent lives. Merck is now assisting Grace to get back on her feet by refurbishing her business.
|Grace Kambini with her new vegetable stand in Kibera.|
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Until we see each other again,