Two days ago saw the Global Poverty Project UK, with the aid of Bill Gates, Hans Rosling and The Co-operative, launch one of its most ambitious and exciting initiatives to date. Yet, whilst Bill was reading his Annual Letter to the captive audience, a small group of students at university campuses across the country were quietly making a stand against extreme poverty.
The centrepiece of The Global Poverty Project is 1.4 Billion Reasons, a ground-breaking presentation that powerfully communicates the challenges and opportunities around tackling extreme poverty, working as a platform to inspire and enable individuals to become actively involved in ending poverty; it is this vision that drives everything we do.
Since its UK launch in 2010, over 36,000 people in the country have seen the presentation, many of which have been university students. Its success would not have been possible without the amazing hosts who have worked tirelessly to promote the presentation as well as continuing the momentum long after by campaigning on the key issues raised in 1.4 Billion Reasons.
Wanting to find a way to repay our gracious hosts and engage them further in our fight to end extreme poverty - Lunch Below the Line was born.
Lunch Below the Line enabled hosts to have a platform to promote and raise awareness of the great work they do but also to incorporate the message of The Global Poverty Project’s upcoming campaign: Live Below the Line.
What’s 33p got to do with extreme poverty?
Most of us wouldn’t bat an eyelid at spending over £15 every day on food. But can you imagine reducing your food and drink spend to just 33p for one meal? On Wednesday hundreds of people across the UK chose to do just that - they ate Lunch Below the Line.
Wednesday’s event kicked off 4 months of campaigning for Live Below the Line, which challenges the British public to cut their spending on food and drink to just £1 a day for five days in May. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the 1.4 billion people around the world currently living in extreme poverty who must survive on less than £1 each day for all their needs.
Lunch Below the Line occurred simultaneously at 5 university campuses nationwide and saw the students serve the 33p meals, which are representative of what someone living in extreme poverty may eat. The event was a great success and caused a buzz and excitement around the campaign.
Whether it is a small team of people selling 33p meals or Bill Gates encouraging a mass audience to take action in ending extreme poverty, to see that people are so committed, passionate and determined to be part of the grassroots movement to end extreme poverty is truly inspiring.
Thank you to Amnesty International at the University of Hertfordshire?, Engineers Without Borders at the University of Birmingham, Friends of MSF at Oxford University and the University of Sussex, and Medsin at Newcastle University for your amazing work running Lunch Below the Line and helping to raise awareness about extreme poverty.
To sign up for the Live Below the Line challenge or to receive more information about the campaign, please visit www.livebelowtheline.org.uk.