The seven were Mses. Leticia Ashie, Owusu, Gifty Amonu Essel, Anuja Bharti, and Messrs Kizito Ronald Jr, Placid Leke, Paul Akrofie and Desmond Nhyira Amankonah.
The 14 others include seven each from Zambia and Namibia respectively.
As part of their award package, the winners were provided with a one-year online educational training program called “MasterClass” , a self-paced learning course in areas such as art of designing, photography, lifestyle , film making and storytelling among others.
More than a mother Fashion Awards
The More Than a Mother Fashion Award, seeks to honour fashion designers both students and professionals who told compelling stories to raise awareness and empower women about Infertility, it prevention and eradication of societal stigma surrounding it through their designs.
It awards is also part of the broader “More than a Mother” campaign initiated by the Foundation, in partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mindset.
Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej speak at the award ceremony
At a virtual ceremony to honour the 21, the CEO of Merck Foundation and founder of the awards, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, expressed her excitement about the work done by the them to drum home the issue of infertility and the stigma associated with it in the their various communities.
“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,” she said.
She explained her vision was to develop a community of designers who don’t just design for designing sake but contribute to change societal norms and be the voice of the voiceless and admonished them to change the face of fashion designing going forward.
“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,” she added.
“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 f or 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
Winners of the awards were grateful to the Foundation and its CEO for making them a part of such an important campaign to contribute to their quota to the fight against stigma against infertility.
The ceremony also saw the lunch of the 2021 edition of the “More Than a Mother Fashion Awards and also “Make Your Own Mask” Fashion Awards.
The Merck Foundation,a philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, a science and technology firm was established in 2017 to improve the health and well being of people and advance their lives through science and technology.
The foundation’s work is among other things focused on improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions in undeserved communities, build healthcare and scientific research capacity as well as empower people in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) most especially, women and the youth.