education | ActionAid UK

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Steven gets a rapturous welcome from the children in Lal Gberay village in Sierra Leone, where he's helped to fund a school

You might know Steven Caulker as a talented Premier League footballer who plays for Queen's Park Rangers, as well as for his appearance in the England national team. But he's also just returned from an emotional trip with ActionAid to Sierra Leone, his grandfather’s homeland. It's always been Steven's dream to go and visit this west African country. Here Steven shares his experiences about the people he met in Sierra Leone: from the Ebola survivor who lost eight members of her family to the disease, to the children who are hungry for an education at the primary school Steven helped to fund, and the fearless women who are working hard to provide a better future for themselves and the next generation.

School children from Miyuyu Primary School in Tanzania play after lessons

The generosity and commitment of Britain is transforming the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. On Monday 13th June 2016 there will be a Parliamentary debate about the UK’s aid budget and whether the legislation that enshrines it in law should be scrapped. Here are a few reasons why I believe Britain’s proud legacy of helping people around the world should be built upon, not diminished. 

Tambudzai enjoying watering her crops at her home in Zimbabwe. Tambudzai is one of many women who has benefitted from farming training sessions run by ActionAid.

As I write this, my country Zimbabwe is facing severe drought caused by El Niño. People’s crops and livestock have been devastated. And 2.5 million people are estimated to be in need of emergency food. But child sponsorship is making a difference. By teaching women here to cope with the effects of climate change, we're helping them continue to grow food, earn a living and support their children.

Because Naw Tar Lu Moo's mum is part of ActionAid's self-help group, she can now get to school safely.

In Myanmar, women usually bring in half the monthly wage of men, even for the same work, meaning they struggle to provide for their children. But when women come together to share and solve their problems, great things can happen. ActionAid has set up over 600 women's self-help groups in Myanmar, benefitting thousands of women - and their families.Mum of two, Naw Mway Rae Paw, is part of her local group in the rural communities of Pathein West, southern Mynanmar. Thanks to group training, she has not only inproved her income but can now send her 11-year-old daughter, Naw Tar Lu Moo, to school safely.

Jo Brand shares her funniest period story with us for World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Our new poll this week shows that a third of women in the UK are too embarrassed to talk about their periods.1 This seems pretty shocking to me. Periods are natural - they affect approximately half the population at some point in their lives - but yet there is still stigma and shame attached to them. So this Menstrual Hygiene Day (Saturday 28th May) we’re saying: let’s talk periods! And what better way to kick-start this conversation than to get some of our favourite celebrity supporters to share their funny first period stories?

Our 'period' period posters are busting taboos around periods for World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

It’s that time of the month again - well, actually it’s that time of the year. On Saturday 28th May it’s Menstrual Hygiene Day, and to mark it we've reimagined five vintage posters to highlight period myths and taboos that women and girls still face today. From girls we work with who are told that if they cook with salt on their period they'll make their teeth fall out, to women in the UK who still can't talk about taking sick leave because of their period, we want to bust these myths across the world.