ActionAid Blog

Global poverty and injustice can feel pretty overwhelming. If you'd like to make the world a better place but you don't know where to start - we've got just the opportunity for you.

We're recruiting volunteer Local Organisers to campaign in communities across the UK. May 24th is the application deadline. Here are five reasons why you should think about applying...

Local organisers and community campaigners
Local organisers and community campaigners at a London training event
Photo: Steve Forrest/ActionAid

1) You'll be in excellent company 

Last year we recruited 10 local organisers, from Leeds to London, from a journalist to an environmental engineer. They're an incredible, inspiring bunch and if you come on board you'll have the privilege of getting to know them too, as well as our ActionAid team - who are also pretty great (not that I'm biased).

Getting married at a young age isn’t something that most women or girls choose to do in the UK, but the fact of the matter is that we have a choice. Whereas in West Pokot, a rural area of Kenya I visited recently, a girl’s point of view doesn’t come into it.

Chepturu, 13, East Pokot, Kenya
Chepturu, 13, East Pokot, Kenya
Photo: Jennifer Huxta/Actionaid

Essentially, being told you are getting married without question is a common way of life. I found it pretty shocking to get my head around but it goes like this:

They were 900 men, women and children fleeing conflict and poverty in some of the world's most troubled countries and they did not deserve to drown off the island of Lampedusa. 

Zaatari Camp
Life in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan
Photo: ActionAid

We will never know who most of those who died were, but I've been reading the testimony of some of those who have made the crossing and it's harrowing.

Moath fled political oppression in Eritrea and told the BBC how he, his wife and baby daughter risked everything. His was just one of many small families who daily face rape, beatings, murder, even dying of thirst in the Sahara desert to reach Libya before making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing.

The idea of living below the line on just £5 for 5 days for all your food and drink can be pretty daunting. You may be tempted to sign up, but you’re panicking about how you are going to survive without your morning cup of coffee...

Well don't worry, you're not alone. Taking the challenge as part of a team will give you the moral support and the budget that you need to stay motivated. Here's some helpful meal plans for two or more people to help you along the way.

Dinner time at our Happy Home project for street girls in Bangladesh
Dinner time at our Happy Home project for street girls in Bangladesh
Photo: Nicolas Axelrod/ActionAid

Meals for two

Pool your funds to make £10 for the week with your other half, BFF, or favourite family member. 

Meet our favourite tag team - 9-year-old Monty and his mum Virginie, who are taking on the full 5 day challenge together.

Mum and SonVirginie and her son Monty getting creative in the kitchen

It’s been a big week for election watchers with the publication of party manifestos. In politics, they say you campaign in poetry and you govern in prose. So, how are our modern political poets doing? Now that all the manifestos are out, here's a quick rundown of what they say about tax.

Ed Balls, George Osbourne and Douglas Alexander
Will the three main parties support a Tax Dodging Bill?
Photo: ActionAid

All the main parties bar the SNP have now set out their vision for a better, fairer, brighter, greener (delete as appropriate) future.

For activists and campaigners alike manifesto week is always circled in red pen. It’s when you find out if you’ve read the political winds right.

Tax tops the agenda

At a top level, we can certainly point to some clear trends in the manifestos. All of the parties in one way or another have promised a crack-down on tax dodging – good news for our Tax Dodging Bill campaign.

Six months have passed since the international community promised aid and radical change for Gaza after the third and most destructive military operation in the last six years. Gaza’s 1.8 million children, women and men still remain cut off from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the rest of the world, by Israel’s land, air and sea blockade.

Children walk to school past destroyed houses, six months after the conflict in Gaza
Children walk to school past destroyed houses, six months after the conflict in Gaza
Photo: ActionAid

"Life is the same. People are the same." My colleague Sahar emphasises this when I ask her how it feels to travel from Gaza to the West Bank. She was able to make this trip for the very first time last month.