In order to make a real change, it is vital that charities and organisations can reach those in need, all around the world. For this to be possible they must campaign, fundraise, and spread awareness until their profile is large enough to support the work they hope to achieve. We must aid both local and global charities because without the help of the public they cannot, and do not exist.
Last month, Grace completed “Go the Distance 2020” for ActionAid. We thought it would therefore be appropriate to dedicate this month to ActionAid (a global charity) to raise awareness about the work they do and specifically, how they’re helping to eradicate period poverty.
What is ActionAid?
ActionAid is an international charity that works with womxn and girls living in poverty. Their vision is a world without poverty and injustice. They fundraise and campaign for change in the UK but their initiatives are rolled out worldwide. They work in rural and urban communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America, every day, all year round. ActionAid also responds to emergency situations arising from disasters or conflict.
The largest percentage of their funding comes from individual committed giving. This means people like me and you donating our time, kindness and money will aid their ability to relieve millions of people around the world of their sufferings.
How are they helping to fight against period poverty?
By improving access to toilets, sanitary products, and education! Here is an extract from ActionAid’s website explaining their work in times of emergency:
In humanitarian disasters across the world, women tell us that amongst the items that they need the most are sanitary towels, wipes and soap, so that they can manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.
That's why we provide kits containing these items in our humanitarian response work, alongside other essentials like food, water and shelter. Periods don't stop in a crisis.
Why sanitary towels are a priority in a disaster...
Conflicts and disasters can leave women and girls without access to clean and safe sanitary products. This can be due to the lack of availability of these products, or the lack of funds to buy them. As a result, women and girls are forced to use improvised methods to manage their periods, including torn pieces of clothing, rags, dirty rugs or sitting on old tin cans.
These alternative methods used by women and girls to manage their periods are often ineffective, uncomfortable and unhygienic. They can lead to dangerous infections, and blood stains which can cause women and girls to feel embarrassed and isolated during their period.
Find out more about the work they do to help end period poverty here: https://www.actionaid.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/womens-economic-empowerment/period-poverty
One of the main campaigns ActionAid is running to help period poverty at the moment is called #ShareABetterPeriod. This campaign is a way for people to realise that we, as people who menstruate, are all in this together. If a girl in the toilet cubicle next to you needed a spare tampon, you wouldn’t hesitate to offer them one. Likewise, for anyone in need, we should always want to help. If you have ever been caught short without period supplies then you can relate, at least in a small way.
What can you do?
ActionAid’s website highlights the abundance of ways you can get involved in helping women and children living in poverty. From donations to fundraising, ActionAid are always coming up with active ways for people to help out. For example, why not buy your Christmas cards from their website? The money is going to a great cause after all.
For those of you who enjoy being active, there are always challenges to get involved in to help fundraise. This October, they launched the “Go the Distance 2020” challenge where people pledged to run, walk, cycle or swim a certain distance in return for donations.
For anyone who likes to be kept in the loop with how their money is being spent, you can also sponsor a child and receive regular updates on how they are doing and what your money is doing to benefit them.
ActionAid is not the only charity out there that is doing groundbreaking work to help people far and wide. There are so many others fighting the war against poverty, and more specifically period poverty. Charities such as Freedom4Girls and Plan-international / UK also campaign and fundraise to support womxn and girls far and wide to live without the struggles of period poverty.