Sunday, 17 March 2013

Live Below the Line: 5 days. £5.

Live Below the Line is an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that's making a huge difference in the fight against extreme poverty. Quite simply, they are building a movement of passionate people willing and able to make a meaningful difference to those who need it most.
Live Below the Line is challenging individuals and communities to see how much change you can make out of £1. By living off just £1 per day for food for 5 days, you will be bringing to life the direct experiences of the 1.4 billion people currently living in extreme poverty and helping to make real change.
Think about that figure - 1.4 BILLION - that's over 20 times the population of the UK - living every day in extreme poverty.
WHY £1? The international Extreme Poverty Line was defined by the World Bank as $1.25 US dollars a day, in 2005. If you live on less than that every day, you’re recognised internationally as living in extreme poverty.

Our usual response to this would be, "that's not so small, US$1.25 actually buys quite a lot in most developing countries". Unfortunately that's not true - the US$1.25 figure is calculated using Purchasing Power Parity - which works out how much you would have to live on each day if you were living in extreme poverty in the United States.
Converting this to the 2005 equivalent for the UK and adjusting for inflation, living below the Extreme Poverty Line today would be the equivalent of us living on £1 a day.
And for people who live in extreme poverty that £1 has to cover far more than food and drink - we're talking everything - health, housing, transport, food, education... It's impossible to imagine, but that’s the reality for an incredible number of people.
Gandhi said that "Poverty is the worst form of violence" - and the folks at Live Below the Line agree. We can all feel and see the injustice of extreme poverty, whether it be directly in our neighbourhoods or in countries far away, Live Below the Line is here to help each of us do something about it.

In 2013, Live Below the Line is running in the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA simultaneously, with more than 20,000 people spending 5 days living below the line. Across three continents people will join the movement to tackle extreme poverty- join the challenge!
HOW DOES IT WORK? Here are the basics:
    From the 29th April – 3rd May you can spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink.
    This means you have a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
    The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
    For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your cupboards.
    You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
    You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
    You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
    No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively and be enjoyed – don’t at any point deprive yourself of three meals a day.
    You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
    You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.
    Remember that cigarettes don’t come cheap either! Can you Live Below The Line and still manage to smoke?

For guidance such as recipe ideas and meal planners, go to:

Whether you join in with this effort or not, remember to spread the word to your family and friends!


Ronell x

 "Poverty is the worst form of violence" {Gandhi}

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