Merck Foundation partners with African Leaders in Sustainable Art and Interiors as part of its Sustainability Initiative

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with Opoku Boakye-Ansah and Matilda Payne, African Artists in Sustainable Art

  • Merck Foundation Sustainability Initiative dubbed “Sustainability is a Shared Responsibility” is as a critical part of The Merck Foundation Program to address sustainability challenges in the countries of the global south and to empower youth and support their development to make the Sustainability Leaders of tomorrow.

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with Nana Kwabena Anoff, African Artist in Sustainable Art

Merck Foundation meets today the African Leaders in circular art and sustainable interiors to discuss future solutions to raise awareness about sustainable art to explore creative ways of upcycling & recycling and encourage youth to lead a sustainable lifestyle. During the meeting opportunities of collaboration will be discussed to advance this concept in Africa and Middle East as part of “The Merck Foundation sustainability Initiative” efforts to empower youth and support their development to enable them to come up with creative ideas that can reduce carbon footprint, mitigate  the impact of climate change and save the environment. This Initiative will naturally progress to the establishment of The Merck Global Sustainability Center which will be launched during Dubai Expo 2020.

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with Rufai Zakari, African Artists in Sustainable Art

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 Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with Hend Helal, African Artists in Sustainable Art.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck emphasized “I am very happy to start the Sustainability Centre in Dubai, it underlines our commitment to broadening our relationships with other innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs. We at Merck are curious minds dedicated to human progress. What attracted us to Dubai is its cross-roads location and its readiness to welcome ideas from all over the world, embrace new technologies and face up to the future.”

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explained, “We strongly believe that young people have numerous untapped capabilities. We wish to unleash such capabilities which would empower and enable them to lead the sustainable development and Green Environmental Agenda of their countries and to encourage others to lead a cool sustainable lifestyle in order to adapt to the impact of climate change. For this reason, we have developed The Merck Foundation Sustainability Initiative dubbed “Sustainability is a Shared Responsibility” (SSR). The aim of this Initiative is to educate, engage and empower youth and young entrepreneurs through access to information and change of mindset in order to enrich their understanding of sustainability as well as support their new innovative and creative ideas in the sustainability space.”

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Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with Nana Kwabena Anoff, African Artist in Sustainable Art


Dr. Rasha Kelej with Bonga Jwambi , Elvis Okyere, Eric Opoku Boakye-Ansah, Jeffrey Kwabena Yeboah, Matilda Payne, Hend Helal, Chineyenwa Precious Okoro-Onu, Nana Kwabena Anoff, Rufai Zakari And Makafui Awuku, African Artists in Sustainable Art 

The Merck Foundation sustainability initiative plans to focus on capacity building and raising awareness in order to accelerate sustainable solutions to urban sustainability challenges through five pillar programs:

1. The Sustainability Ambassadors (SA): Esteemed profiles of The Sustainability Ambassadors will enable them to build advocacy and raise awareness amongst young people via media, social media and at different global and regional platforms in order to encourage youth to lead a sustainable life style with the aim of protecting the environment from further climate change.
 
2. Sustainability Education and Training Programs: Sustainability Education and Training Programs for students, community members, media, young professionals and entrepreneurs to improve access to information and change of mindset in order to strengthen their knowledge as Sustainability future leaders in their societies. These programs will encourage them to sensitize their communities and to work together to find their own solutions to mitigate impact of climate change in their small but significant ways.
 
4. Networking and Partnership Opportunities: With the aim to accelerate transition to a more sustainable world, Merck Foundation will collaborate with local and global stakeholders, including academia, research institutions, multi-sectoral businesses, governmental and non-governmental entities, as well as community organizations, media and artists.

5. SHAMS: Power of Ideas: SHAMS is the Arabic word for Sun. It is a program which focuses on empowering the growth of new innovative businesses in the field of Sustainability. SHAMS program will enable our communities to benefit from new ideas that have potential to protect the environment as part of Merck Foundation Sustainability Initiative.

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Dr. Rasha Kelej with African Artists in Sustainable Art

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“We will be taking the initiative further through the above listed 5 Pillars. Few important aspects include educating the youth to start utilizing the waste in a meaningful way. It’s time for everyone to be sensitive to the environment and understand the concept of creating ‘Treasure from Trash’ that has been introduced by many African artists and interior designers. Beautiful art pieces can be made by sorting and upcycling different kinds of waste; plastic, electronic, mechanics, woods, tyres and so on. We have discussed this creative concept during our meeting with African Leaders Sustainability Art And circular economy. And we agreed on certain program to raise awareness and advance sustainability products in the region. We should all work together to save our planet, in our own little way”, added Dr. Kelej.


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Art created from trash.
 

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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.

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