As a Global Poverty Ambassador, one of the best ways for me to understand what life is like for the 1.4 Billion people who continue to live in extreme poverty every day is to live in a way that aligns me with their experience. And, contrary to popular belief, I don’t need to spend an extended amount of time in rural sub-saharan Africa to gain this knowledge.
The World Bank describes extreme poverty as anyone living on less than the equivalent of what you can buy in the US for $1.25 per day, which is roughly equivalent to what you can buy in the UK for £1 per day. This number is adjusted for purchasing parity, so when I say $1.25 or £1 per day it doesn’t mean what you can buy in a foreign country for $1.25, which in some cases might be quite a lot. Instead, imagine what your life would look like if you only had $1.25 or £1 to spend on food, clothes, rent, transportation, entertainment, and medical expenses everyday where you live right now. Here in the UK, £1 isn’t even enough for one bus ride, or a 2 litre jug of milk, or most of the fruit in the grocery store so the thought of having only that much to live on everyday is unsettling.
Taking the Live Below the Line challenge is a way for me to undertand what life is like for those who live in extreme poverty in a way that is relevant to where and how I live right now. For 5 days, from 11-15 of June, I will live on a £1 per day for all food and drink. I will still be able to spend £1.30 on a bus ride, or £12 to see a movie if I desire, but for those 5 days I hope to begin to understand what it means to only have £1 per day to spend on one of my most basic needs, food and drink.
Thankfully, I will not have to do it alone as a group of friends and my ever supportive husband will take the challenge along side me. I’d like to encourage you to take the challenge as well. Or, if meal planning on $1.25 or £1 is unappealing, then please consider sponsoring me as I raise money for the Global Poverty Project.
One of the most exciting things about Living Below the Line for me is being able to share my experiences with you! Please stay tuned as I begin to grocery shop and meal plan and share my experiences and insights. I’m so excited to have this opportunity to grow in my understanding about extreme poverty.