Living Below The Line

 In blog, Social Impact

Over the last few days I’ve been finding out what it means to Live Below the Line, by taking on a weeks challenge to survive on £1 a day. Unfortunately what for me is a challenge is the reality of life for 1.2 billion people on our planet.

LivingBelowTheLine

What is it?

Live Below the Line is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, an education and campaigning organisation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action against extreme poverty.

Throughout April and May 2013, Live Below the Line is running simultaneously in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA, with more than 20,000 people spending 5 days living below the poverty line. Across three continents people will join the movement to experience the challenge of living on £1 or less a day, while raising money and awareness to tackle extreme poverty.

Why £1?

Live Below the Line challenges individuals and communities to see how much change you can make out of £1. By living off just £1 per day for FOOD you get to bring to life the direct experiences of the 1.2 billion people currently living in extreme poverty.

Think about that figure – 1.2 BILLION – that’s over 20 times the population of the UK or over 15% of the planet – living in extreme poverty on less than £1 every day.

People Living On Less Than £1 A Day Globally

Percent of People Living On Less Than £1 A Day Globally

What did I do?

I was lucky enough to be involved in a set of remote workshops with the team from Global Poverty Project, ThoughtWorks India and Europe to help shape and understand the next steps for the platform that had originally been developed by ThoughtWorks Australia.

We got together in a room in South London with projectors, post-its and a raft of digital tools including – GotoMeetings, Google docs, cardmapping.com and ideaboardz.com to figure out how to open up the platform to new markets across the globe.

Remote Inception

Remote Inception

I’m delighted to say that the project was a great success with Global Poverty Project and ThoughtWorks working exceptionally well together to deliver a product that will allow Live Below The Line  to improve on the £500,000 raised last year from the initiative.

How can you help?

5 Day Food

After being involved in the program, I and colleagues at ThoughtWorks Europe decided that we would take part in the challenge to help raise more funds to support the future development of the platform – enabling Global Poverty Project to continue to grow and build upon the success of the initiative thus far.

I bought my food for the week and have been living on a staple diet of muesli, instant noodles, cup-a-soups and crackers for the last few days to raise funds and awareness of global poverty. I can honestly say that it has been an eye-opening challenge to experience the hardship of constantly making choices of what I could get and eat over the last few days. This highlights even more to me to the difficulty some people face when thinking about their next meal, while others more fortunate are able to take  food for granted.

My shopping list included;

  • 500g Muesli – £0.59
  • 4 Noodles – £0.72
  • 1 Tin of Sweetcorn- £0.32
  • 1 Packet of Cream Crackers – £0.26
  • 2 Tins of Soup – £0.48
  • 1 Tin of Mushy Peas – £0.15
  • 1 Tin of Tuna – £1.63
  • 1 Potato – £0.30
  • 1 Packet of BelVita – £0.21

Total – £4.66

I would really appreciate your support by donating to my fundraising page to help drive change and progress in one of the biggest issues we face on our planet.

Our goal is make the change – not only for ourselves but for everyone out there – and to advocate passionately for social and economic justice.

Donate At: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/boreilly

Follow Us: #twbelowtheline | @LBLuk | #thoughtworks #belowtheline

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