ActionAid at Latitude Festival 2017
Why are we talking about periods at Latitude?
Having your period at a festival can be a real challenge, when clean loos and sanitary items are hard to come by.
Millions of women and girls around the world face these challenges on a monthly basis – no sanitary products, no proper toilets, no clean water.
Apart from the discomfort, lack of access to toilets and sanitary items also leads to gender discrimination: in Africa, one in ten girls misses school when they have their period. This has a huge knock-on effect on girls’ education and often leads to them dropping out, reducing their chances of being able to support themselves later on in life.
Despite menstruation being completely natural, damaging myths about periods and a culture of shame continue to hold women and girls back.
At ActionAid we recognise that sanitary products and education on periods are not trivial, nice-to-haves; they are essential tools in the fight against poverty and help keep girls in schools – girls like Vast, pictured below.
Helping girls stay in school when they're on their period
17-year-old Vast, from Malawi, said, "I was told not to cook with salt on my period, because if I do my dad will have stomach pains, and people's teeth will fall out.”
Vast used to miss out on three days of school every month, but thanks to an ActionAid supported project in her community, she can now get sanitary pads easily, not miss out on class, and she knows that if her famliy gets ill, she is not to blame.
Vast told us:
These pads make a huge difference – I am able to stand in class without being self conscious, and can even play netball. I’m really happy and it helps a lot.
That's why our small interventions – providing sanitary pads, separate toilets and safe spaces where girls can learn about periods and sex – are so important, and why we'll be at Latitude raising awareness of our work, busting period taboos, and getting people talking more openly about why menstruation matters.
What's on at the ActionAid tent at Latitude?
Whether you're into comedy, glitter or want to learn and share your thoughts about periods, our taboo-busting activities themed around period euphamisims have got something for everyone – men included! Find out more below and make sure you swing by our tent to get involved!
Free festival accessories at our 'Get the painters in' stall
To break period taboos we need people to talk about them.
That’s why we’re bringing our new ‘Get the painters in’ tent to Latitude where you and your friends can paint yourselves head to toe in red – with love hearts, glitter and much more – get your pic taken in our social media photo booth and say to the world that period taboos must go!
Virtual reality toilets
New for 2017 we’ll have the first-ever immersive ActionAid virtual reality experience.
Festival-goers will be transported to Africa to see first-hand how a lack of access to adequate toilets and menstrual hygiene products at school puts girls' lives on hold during their period, as they have little choice but to stay at home.
'Surf the crimson wave'
Fancy yourself as the next Cher Horowitz from the popular movie Clueless?
Break the taboo wall
And, back by popular demand, will be our ‘Break the taboo’ solidarity wall.
Last year hundreds of you broke period taboos by leaving amazing solidarity messages for women and girls around the world on our sanitary pad-shaped wall.
Volunteer with ActionAid at Latitude Festival
Fancy a free ticket to one of this summer's best festivals? Want to help support our work? Volunteer with ActionAid at Latitude to have an amazing experience and help change the lives of the most vulnerable women and children in the world.
Join our team and you'll see incredible bands, have fun and meet lots of new people by taking our message out to the crowds and bringing it to life!
What will I be doing at Latitude?
You’ll be part of our team having fun for a good cause. We’re looking for dedicated volunteers who are hard working, enthusiastic, energetic and flexible.
To join our Latitude team, you must be confident in approaching festival-goers to talk about ActionAid’s work and encourage them to support us.
You’ll need to commit to working an allocated role and shifts of four to six hours a day.
By encouraging people to support ActionAid, you’ll help us make 2017 our best Latitude yet.
Download our volunteer pack
Check out our volunteer pack for full details about volunteering with ActionAid at Latitude 2017.
Inside you’ll find everything you need to know about volunteering including; what you’ll be doing, what you’ll need to bring and more information about our menstrual hygiene work.
We welcome applications to volunteer from people of all backgrounds and abilities. Please let us know on your application if there’s anything we can do to better accommodate your needs.
You may also be interested in…
Find out more about what we got up to at last year's Latitude.
Learn about how periods hold girls back and how we support them.
Sponsor a girl and make sure she has all she needs to build a better life.