The Live Below the Line challenge invites participants to eat and drink for £1 a day for five days beginning 28 April and continuing through this week. Why £1? It’s the extreme poverty threshold beneath which 1.2 billion people worldwide survive each day. It’s impossible to imagine, but it is the reality for this incredible number of people.
The challenge does not pretend to replicate the direct experience of extreme poverty. For 1.2 billion people, their £1 has to cover not only their food and drink, but their transport, healthcare and schooling costs too. However, creating the scenario of eating on £1 a day here in the UK will mean participants face difficult decisions about what to eat and get closer to understanding what extreme poverty really means.
With only £5 to spend, there are few options and participants experience a lack of variety, low nutritional intake and a shortage of calories that those who live in extreme poverty face every day of their lives.
What to buy? Knowing that some cheap western foods carry a high price for those in the developing world, many participants make a conscious decision to live on a diet that is produced sustainably and fairly. Facing these decisions and thinking harder about what they consume, participants may come to value food more.
Most importantly, those who take the challenge find themselves unable to stop talking about it. This is one of the real benefits: more people talking about extreme poverty raises greater awareness and the desire to take practical steps to address the problem.
Additionally, those taking the challenge are raising funds for Progressio’s work supporting people to overcome poverty despite extremely difficult circumstances.
Live Below the Line is part of an international campaign aiming to address and raise awareness of extreme poverty; thousands took the challenge in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia last year. ‘The Global Poverty Project’ manages the campaign, and Progressio is one of the charity partners.
For more information, and to join Team Progressio visit: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk/partner/progressio