Human Services

Mooncatcher Project Inc

Removing Barriers for Girls

Quick Facts

Schenectady, NY


Optimize girlsʼ lives worldwide by removing barriers related to menstruation.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms Ellie von Wellsheim

Main Address

PO box 9443

Schenectady, NY 12309 USA


Menstruation awareness, gender equality, human rights





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (P12)

Unknown (Z99)

Unknown (Z99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Education is the most effective means of improving the lives of girls in the world’s poorest communities. However too many girls drop out of school when they reach puberty because they have no access to feminine hygiene products. This is a worrisome trend that leads to early marriage, childbearing at an early age, and a lack of financial independence. The MoonCatcher Project provides free reusable, washable menstrual pads that can be worn without underwear for girls in the poorest communities worldwide. These pads provide a way for girls to stay in school while menstruating, giving them a greater chance of completing their education. At its core our project is about girls’ empowerment. Wherever possible we offer menstrual management and reproductive health classes and we help set up and support community sewing guilds that provide employment for local women. It costs just $5.07 to produce a MoonCatcher kit and to change the life of a girl.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

MoonCatcher Project menstrual pad and education program

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The MoonCatcher Project seeks to optimize girls' lives worldwide by removing barriers related to menstruation.

Since 2011 The MoonCatcher Project has been making reusable, washable menstrual management kits - "MoonCatcher Kits" - for distribution to girls around the world. Our activities and efforts range from sewing bees - "MoonBees" - in the US to on-the-ground education and MoonCatcher production and/or distribution in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Liberia, India, Pakistan, Honduras, and Haiti. Here is a brief snapshot of the work we do: **MoonBees: Hosted in cities across the country, our sewing bees bring together diverse groups of volunteers who make MoonCatcher Kits for distribution to girls around the globe. To contribute to our local community, volunteers bring disposable menstrual hygiene products to all of our events for donation to local food pantries and shelters. **Menstrual Management and Reproductive Health Classes: With our partners in Africa and India, we offer classes on menstruation management and reproductive health to school girls entering puberty whenever they receive our kits. **On-the-Ground Sewing Cooperatives: The MoonCatcher Project has established and supports five women's sewing cooperatives in Uganda, one in Malawi and one in Kenya. In India we have recently opened a sewing room where six women are employed and produce up to 200 kits per week.

Our organization is growing. The MoonCatcher Project started out in 2010 as a small group of women making kits in our founder's dining room. By partnering with other not-for-profit and faith organizations, and connecting with individuals in our community and around the country we have raised the funds needed to host over 30 MoonBees annually, with a total of over 700 volunteers, and to support 7 sewing cooperatives in Africa and one sewing center in India. In 2018 we have produced and distributed over 8,000 MoonCatcher Kits to girls around the world. We continue to seek partnerships with other like minded organizations, and we work closely with many faith organizations to accomplish our mission.

The MoonCatcher Project evaluates our programs based primarily on three sources of data: reports from our partner organization; findings of our annual delegation visit to all of our sites; and documentation from school directors. We frequently survey school directors to gain their input and to learn how distribution of our kits impacts school attendance. Delegation visits by the MoonCatcher Board President, Board Members and affiliates occur at least annually. During these visits, the team meets with the women of each cooperative/sewing center to learn about their training needs and their progress. The delegation also visits numerous schools and holds focus groups with girls who have received kits previously to learn how they are helping and how they can be improved.

In 2018: Progress in Africa: **Our 5 cooperatives in Uganda produced over 5000 kits (complete with soap made the Wakiso Women’s Soap-Making Cooperative) that were delivered to girls in 46 schools. All of these girls received our reproductive health curriculum **Our cooperative in Kenya became operational and produced 850 Kits this year, that were delivered to girls in 11 schools with the curriculum **Our cooperative in Malawi became operational and produced and delivered 600 kits delivered to girls in 4 schools along with our curriculum Progress in India : **Our first delegation is in Delhi this October to start a sewing center. They brought 300 kits to distribute to our first school in India – along with our curriculum (translated into Hindi) and classroom visuals in Hindi **Six women are now employed full time in our Delhi-based center **The MoonCatcher Center is producing 200 Kits per week Progress at Home: **Over the last year we have held 30 MoonBees with over 754 volunteers coming to make kits **Our volunteers produced over 1500 kits **Kits and educational materials sent with church groups, Rotary members, and individuals to: Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and India

External Reviews



Mooncatcher Project Inc

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
The MoonCatcher Project has adapted the following Core Values We: 1. Commit ourselves to gender equity, racial equity, social justice and human rights; 2. Celebrate the dignity of girls and their bodies; 3. Believe that education is a reciprocal process and a basic human right; 4. Strive to build relationship through an inclusive and collaborative process; 5. Are fueled by passion, compassion, hope and generosity.