Merck Foundation CEO Champions “Fashion With Purpose” to Break Infertility Stigma

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Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted an award ceremony to felicitate and celebrate the winners of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ FASHION AWARDS 2020. The awards were announced in partnership with the African First Ladies, 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 expressed, “I am very happy and proud to meet our winners of the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 and welcome them to our newly established ‘Fashion with Purpose’ community. I am impressed with their designs that deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say ‘No to Infertility Stigma’, via sensitizing our communities.”

During the Award Ceremony, Merck Foundation CEO advised the winners, the young African Designers on how their respective designs can be created and executed to open a dialogue and create the culture shift desired.

The Videoconference was also attended by past winners of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards. It was also attended by Fashion designers & students and media representatives across Africa. 

“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.

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As a part of the awards, Merck Foundation has provided the winners with a one-year access to an online educational training program called “MasterClass” which is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet and offers online courses in many areas such as: art of designing, fashion, photography, lifestyle, discovering your inner voice and many other areas of Media, Film making and storytelling etc. 

“I am very excited to be a part of the ‘Fashion with a Purpose’ community in Africa, led by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej. She is a true fashion icon, who has a unique style. It was an absolute honour to meet her and be mentored by her. Thanks to Merck Foundation for involving us in such important campaign,” emphasized Joel Musasa, Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 winner from Namibia.