Bethlehem Sewing Bee to Create Kits To Help Poor Girls Around the World Stay in School

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Ellie von Wellsheim teaching women to make MoonCatcher Kits at one of the recently established sewing guilds in Uganda.

The MoonCatcher Project works to change girls’ lives.

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to help girls get an education is to make it possible for them to attend school during their menstrual periods. Educating girls is the most effective means of economic development in the poorest communities.

The MoonCatcher Project empowers girls by providing them with reusable menstrual pads, so that they can stay in school, avoid early marriage and pregnancy, and avail themselves of other educational opportunities that will, in turn, positively impact them and their communities.

A recent UNESCO report estimates that “one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle. By some estimates, this equals as much as twenty percent of a given school year. Many girls drop out of school altogether once they begin menstruating.” Nearly one million girls in Kenya do not go to school because they lack access to sanitary pads and corresponding reproductive health education.

Girls in Uganda holding up their MoonCatcher kits.

Last spring, the now former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about how menstruation can stop girls from attending school.  Mrs. Obama stressed the importance of addressing this situation so that girls and young women could continue their education; she gave this speech during a Let Girls Learn event at the World Bank.

The MoonCatcher Project is addressing this issue in a unique manner, one that builds awareness of the issue and builds community at the same time.  By holding informational and working “Moon Bees”, using the age old model of the sewing bee, they are spreading the word about this gender equity issue and giving people an opportunity to do something to address it at the same time.

The MoonCatcher Project works with volunteers at sewing bees around this country, making reusable washable menstrual pad kits that are distributed to girls in Uganda, Bali, and Malawi.

Come hear Ellie von Wellsheim, founder and director of The MoonCatcher Project, talk about this project, its Menstrual Management and reproductive Health Classes, and her most recent trip to Uganda.  Ellie will make this presentation at a sewing bee.  Please join us to make some MoonCatcher Kits and learn more about this project that changes girls’ lives and, in so doing, changes the lives of their families and their communities as well.

You don’t need to be able to sew. There are jobs for everyone.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
WREN, 2013 Main St., Bethlehem, NH

Any questions about the Sewing Bee, please contact: Teri Bordenave at 518.698.8675.  For more information about The MoonCatcher Project, visit their website:   

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