Merck Foundation CEO to Celebrate and Mentor 2020 Merck Award Winners

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, plans to conduct an Award Ceremony via a Video Conference to celebrate and felicitate the winners of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ FASHION AWARDS 2020, to be held on 1st September 2021. The awards were announced by Merck Foundation in partnership with the African First Ladies, who are also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.  Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother emphasized “I am proud to recognize and appreciate our winners and welcome them to our newly established ‘Fashion with Purpose’ community.

The young African designers who win this awards and previous awards have contributed towards our cause by developing extraordinary creative designs that deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say ‘No to Infertility Stigma’. I am excited to meet and celebrate our winners, through our online Award Ceremony. I am looking forward to mentor them on how to execute their designs. Other than the winners, I would also like to invite young fashion talents from the continent to attend this Virtual Conference, in order to be a part of our “Fashion with Purpose” community and participate in our upcoming exciting initiatives to raise awareness and sensitize our communities about sensitive social and cultural issues such as; girls’ education, stop GBV and break infertility stigma; to be the voice of the voiceless”.

“We are very glad that Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej will champion this “Fashion with a Purpose’ community in Africa by supporting and mentoring upcoming African designers. She is a true fashion icon”, emphasized Kezia Ansah-Mensah, Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion awards 2019 winner from Ghana.  “My vision is to develop a community of young African Fashion Designers in order to catalyze a movement, that reaches and extends far beyond just fashion, and creates a culture shift and be the voice of the voiceless in their communities.

Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Let’s change this perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to educate our communities. I love fashion and I strongly believe that designers can make designs for Men and Women that they would be proud to wear to show their contribution toward their communities, villages, and cities across Africa”, added Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej.  Merck Foundation launches an annual competition for the best design that carries messages to address sensitive social and health issues. The two awards launched for the year 2021, for African Fashion Designer community are:

1. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021: All African Fashion Students and Designers are invited to create and share designs to deliver strong and influential messages to raise awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility stigma, and/or Empowering Girls and Women through Education.  Submission deadline is 30th October 2021.

2. Merck Foundation “Make Your Own Mask” Fashion Awards 2021: All African Fashion Designers and Students are invited to create and share designs of masks and other clothing items that carry messages to encourage people to wear masks to show they care and at the same time make it creative and fun!  Submission deadline is also 30th September 2021. The Award Ceremony will be livestreamed on @ Merck Foundation Facebook page and Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej Facebook page. Young and upcoming African Fashion designers are welcome to attend the online ceremony.

Here is the list of Award Winners of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother FASHION Awards 2020:

Here are the winners from Ghana in partnership with H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

Leticia Ashie Owusu

Gifty Amonu Essel

Kizito Ronald Jr

Placid Leke

Anuja Bharti

Paul Akrofie

Desmond Nhyira Amankonah

Here are the winners from Namibia in partnership with H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

Linrico Humphries

Stephany-Lee Schmidt (Libi)

Aina Shigwedha

Hope Gowera

Joel Musasa

Eugenia Benard

Paulton Luciano Witbooi

Here are the winners from Zambia in partnership with H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

Nelly Banda

Ruth Chimbala

Cecilia Njobvu

Linda Ngwira

Naomi Soko

Gibstar Makangila

Kasonde Makangila

Merck Foundation additionally rewarded the winners by providing them with one-year access to an online educational training program called “MasterClass”. The MasterClass is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course in English that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet.

This article was from a press release distributed by APO Group.  You can start earning money by becoming our Independent Reporter or Contributor. Contact us at


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