The MoonCatcher Project has been going full steam ahead lately. Since I returned from Malawi in late April, we have held eight MoonBees and I’ve had several speaking engagements. It’s been fun being in so many places and meeting so many wonderful people.
There’s been some other really cool things happening too. WAM (Where Arts and Activism Meet) Theater Company gave us a special donation of $1200. WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical productions to organizations that benefit women and girls. This year the proceeds from the production of “Lady Randy” were donated to an organization in the Berkshires. In addition to the first prize winner they presented The MoonCatcher Project with an honorary donation. Several of us went to see the play and then participated in a panel discussion afterwards with the audience.
Maureen Fernandez (my frequent travel companion and long-time friend) sent us some info about an organization called IMHER (The International Menstrual Health Entrepreneurship Roundup). Based in Dartmouth College, IMHER is a university-based information resource focusing on economic access issues around menstrual products and education, and on the organizations and entrepreneurs worldwide that work to meet those needs in their local communities. Their website features organizations from around the world doing work around menstruation. We are now on their site and will soon post a VLOG which explains how our pad can be worn without underwear. Please see: https://imher.net/find-washable-pads/.
That same Maureen suggested last year that I do a TED talk and researched some ways to make that happen. Last weekend at Union College in Schenectady I did a TEDx talk about The MoonCatcher Project and the political issues surrounding menstruation. I think it went really well. I’m not usually a nervous speaker but something about having to follow someone else’s format made me anxious. In a month or so there will be a video of the talk on YouTube (which we will post on our website). Though challenging, this experience pushed me to think about The MoonCatcher Project in a new light. Though I’ve always thought we are part of something bigger, this talk made me seriously look at how oppressed women are due to attitudes around menstruation.
In May, students from the graduate class at Rockefeller College at the University at Albany called “PAD: 527: Philanthropy and Civil Society” deliberated and voted to award The MoonCatcher Project $500 through their new Student Philanthropy Fund. It is the inaugural year of the Student Philanthropy Fund and The MoonCatcher Project, is the very first awardee. (Special thanks to Patrick Dodson for taking photos at this event.)
We are gearing up for our “Moon-vie Night” at Proctors on August 7. We’ll be showing PadMan and talking about The MoonCatcher Project. We’ll sell crafts and lite Indian food too. Our amazing graphic designer Monica has designed the fabulous flyer below for the event and we are hoping that we can get a huge turnout. It will be a fun Summer night’s event.
Our production in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and India is increasing all the time. Two nights ago my WhatsApp was lighting up with messages from three African projects at once. It was fun though a little overwhelming trying to figure out the finances and international transfers involved to keep everyone working.
Summer is creeping closer. We are taking July off from MoonBees but will be working on other matters that all too often get pushed aside. I’ll be going to the beach for a few days too!