What does a quid have to do with extreme poverty? This week thousands of people across the United Kingdom, including me, are challenging themselves to spend only £1 a day for 5 days for all food and drink. As participants in the Live Below the Line Campaign we will get a taste of life in extreme poverty.
The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than £1 a day for everything; a lifestyle that 1.4 billion people around the world currently lead. Even though this £1 represents a dramatic reduction in their weekly food bill, participants will not experience many of the other areas of extreme poverty. The Live Below the Line campaign teaches that extreme poverty is about more than just money but is fundamentally about a lack of choice and opportunity.
UNICEF estimates that 101 million children, most of them girls, don’t have the opportunity to access primary education. Poverty is the main reason that children aren’t able to go to school. The cost of school fees, uniforms, bus fares, and textbooks often force parents to choose only some of their children to be educated and girls are frequently left out. UNICEF reports that many parents believe that the contribution a female child can make toward cleaning and cooking outweighs the cost of their education, particularly when there are few skilled jobs available for women.
The Live Below the Line campaign gives participants the opportunity to fundraise for one of 22 partner charities including organisations like Malaria No More UK, RESULTS UK, Restless Development, UNICEF, Salvation Army UK, and Christian Aid. Each of these organisations are on the ground tackling issues of extreme poverty and creating a world where all people have a chance at leading a fulfilling life. If you are interested in the campaign please visit www.livebelowtheline.org/uk