What is the White Band?
The white band is our common symbol of the global fight to end poverty.
It was agreed as a worldwide symbol by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, the world's largest ever anti-poverty movement with organisations representing more than 150 million people in over 100 countries.
The white band was the symbol of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY in 2005, when 8 million people wore the white band in the UK. On the three White Band Days in 2005, people wore white and formed massive human bands, wrapped trees and lamp posts in white bands, and even wrapped whole buildings, from St Paul's Cathedral to the European Parliament.
The great thing about the white band is that it is simple and flexible, and can be used easily by anyone in the world, whatever their circumstances.
Wearing the White Band
You can wear the white band in any way you like - as a wristband, an armband, a headband, or a lapel badge.
It is not necessary to wear a professionally produced white band - the vast majority of people around the world wearing one will make their own. You can make your own white band with a piece of fabric or paper.
White Band Wrapping
One of the most striking ways to use the white band is to wrap public objects in one! You can use white cloth, paper banqueting roll, plain wallpaper, old bed sheets or banners…
- Wrap trees in your local park
- Wrap a famous building, monument or a clock tower
- Wrap a key venue where decision makers are meeting
- Wrap buildings that people pass on the way to work
- Wrap all the lamp posts on a street
The easiest way to wrap a building is to have people stand at regular intervals around the building, holding white material. This both makes for a more interesting photo and really engages passers by and local media.
Human White Band Chains
Even without any wrapping material, if you can get enough people together then a chain of people wearing white is also a very effective way of "wrapping" something.
Get lots of people wearing white clothes, with props like white hats and white umbrellas, to gather in one place and form a giant human white band chain.
Try and secure a good vantage point for photo and media opportunities.
Balloons are also a great way to engage people and create a moving white band. People can wear white, hold white balloons filled with helium, and move through a town or city centre, forming human chains around things on the way. This is really effective, with the train of white balloons highly visible above shoppers' heads and attracting children and their parents.