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04.02.2019 General News

Merck and Rebecca Foundations Partner To Award Student Fashion Designers And Film Makers

By Maxwell Awumah
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo
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Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo

Merck Foundation, the benevolence entity of Merck KGaA Germany and the Rebecca Foundation under two new project dubbed “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion and Film Awards have announced call for applications.

The Rebecca Foundation initiative is under the auspices of the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who doubles as an Ambassador of the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign in partnership with Accra Technical Institute, College of Creative Design and the Ghana National Film and TV Institute (NAFTI) for the awards.

The applicants, students NAFTI, fashion and design in the three institutions are requested to send their drama/documentaries, sketches or designs of their creations as an attachment to email: [email protected] with ‘Merck Foundation Fashion Awards’ or ‘Merck Foundation Film Awards’ in the subject line and has up till June 30, this year, to apply, according to its release in Accra.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaigner said that the fashion industry is expected to double globally in the next 10 years and generating some $ 5 Trillion annually.

She said extreme talented young fashion entrepreneurs have begun to gain global recognition as they pioneer strategies to market and brand fashion grounded in cultural heritage, the ‘African Brand’ and Merck Foundation is ready to assist designers to hone their trade , hence this initiative.

“Designers it’s time to showcase your talent and contribute towards making a difference in society with your unique creations.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

She said when we empower women economically and men understand infertility issues, stigma will fly through the window.

“No designer has ever, or would ever, say that he or she wanted to make things difficult for women. 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 that ‘Fertility is a Shared Responsibility’. I love fashion and I strongly believe that we will be able to select a creative design or designs that Men and/or Women would be proud to wear to show their contribution toward breaking the infertility stigma in their communities, villages, cities, across Africa and the rest of the world.”

“Film-makers, its time to showcase your talent and contribute towards making a difference in society with your unique films with strong and relevant messages about infertility,” says Dr Kelej.

It said all NAFTI student and Fashion Design Students from the institutions are invited to create films and designs with the aim to deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say, “No to Infertility Stigma”.

The statement said the best 10 submissions will be selected by ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ committee. Winners will be granted $500 each to execute their designs and will have an opportunity to exhibit them during the Merck Africa Asia Luminary which will be staged in Accra on October 29-30, in the presence of more than 15 African First Ladies and 1000 participants from more than 60 countries.

In the film, drama or documentary segment, the first three best films will attract US$ 1,000.

It said Merck Foundation envisions to scale- up this initiative in many more African Countries.

Merck Foundation has been empowering many infertile women in Ghana by building a productive life for them by setting up businesses of their choice for them, as women are much more than just mothers.Merck Foundation has also provided technical training to four candidates from Ghana under their ‘Merck Africa Embryology Training Program’ to help build capacity in the field of infertility in the country. The program will be scaled up under the umbrella of the long term partnership with the First Lady of Ghana.