Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 June 2021:
Merck Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, announces the winners of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother FASHION AWARDS 2020 from Ghana, Namibia and Zambia. The awards are by Merck Foundation in partnership with the First Lady of Ghana, H.E. Mrs. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO; the First Lady of Namibia, H.E. Mrs. MONICA GEINGOS and the First Lady of Zambia, H.E. Mrs. ESTHER LUNGU, who are also the Ambassadors of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’.
The 21 winners of 2020 across the three countries have been recognized for their extraordinary creative designs that deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women.
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother emphasized, “Big congratulations to the 21 winners of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020. We launched these awards in partnership with our long-term partners and my dear sisters; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia; and H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia. I am thankful for their support and contribution as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother. In 2021 we have launched the fashion awards in partnership with 20 Africa first ladies to give opportunity for these countries however the awards are open for all countries. The 21 winners of 2020 across the three countries have been recognized for their extraordinary creative designs that deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say ‘No to Infertility Stigma’ and create meaningful fashion trends to educate their communities that ‘Fertility is a Shared Responsibility.”
Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 winners are rewarded with $500 each to execute and showcase their winning designs so that people can have the opportunity to wear them and build advocacy to break the Infertility stigma for women and men.
Merck Foundation appreciates the creativity of winners and considers it to be instrumental to break the silence and be the voice of the voiceless in the communities, hence, Merck Foundation additionally rewarded all the winners with one year of 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 within the Internet network.
“I encourage the winners to be the ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother Advocate’ to further empower infertile women and all women and girls in general and to eliminate infertility stigma. I also welcome them as valuable members of ’Merck Foundation Alumni’”, added Senator, Dr. Kelej.
Here is the list of Award Winners:
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
- Aina Shigwedha
- Hope Gowera
- Ndara Immanuel
- 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
“Together, with the fashion industry, we would continue to play an instrumental role in eliminating the infertility stigma and empowering women in education and at all levels. I hope to receive many such outstanding entries from all African designers and students for our Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021, announced in partnership with 20 African First Ladies”, explained Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Who can apply?
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.
Last date of submission: 30th August 2021
How to apply?
Entries can be submitted by sending the original sketches as an attachment(s) on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Subject line of the mail should mention: Merck Foundation FASHION AWARDS “More Than a Mother” 2021
Please specify your name, institution name, country, and contact details in the mail.
10 winners will be granted $500 each to execute their designs.
About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility.
In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, international fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are as follows:
H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia
H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria
H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry
H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia
H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville
H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo
H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA and The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
- ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
- ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
- ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
- Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
- Children storybook, localized for each country
About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit Merck-Foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (bit.ly/2MU6Fht), Twitter (bit.ly/3scVf8t), Instagram (bit.ly/3boJ0jr), YouTube (bit.ly/3sf4aWX) and Flicker (bit.ly/3snPHZ8).