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Why live below the line?

April 2012

Live below the line logo 2012'Live below the line' is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, which challenges people to live on £1 a day for food and drink for 5 days to combat extreme poverty.

In 2011, 10,000 people worldwide chose to live below the Line, raising over £1million for the development charity of their choice and finding out more about what it’s like for the 1.4 billion people who have to live on £1 everyday for everything.

Jenny Sutcliffe, then a student in Newcastle, tells us about her experience of living below the line in 2011.

'Last year, after hearing a very inspirational speech by Global Poverty Project, I undertook the Live Below the Line challenge. After a 3 hour long supermarket session, consisting of meticulous price comparisons I really didn’t have the patience for, I was ready for what lay ahead.

'Going into the challenge I knew it would be hard (they don’t call it a challenge for nothing) and it was; it was a week filled with bursts of dizziness and bouts of weakness and it really did test my will-power (I recommend hiding all other food from your kitchen cupboards before undertaking this task).

'I wasn't, however, prepared for just how emotional and stirring it would be. One day in, and I was already craving fresh fruit and vegetables (as opposed to tinned, which really should just remain in the tin in my opinion) and hating the idea of value kidney beans (a mistake I will not be making this year).'

A taste of poverty

'But, unlike the millions of people across the world, I knew that in five days time it would be over; they do not have that luxury. That is why this year I will be taking part in this challenge again, and why I will not be complaining throughout the 5 days or wishing they were over.

'It is a time where you really can learn a lot about yourself and more importantly the wider world and how you fit into it. I am choosing to do this very, very small thing, in the hope that somewhere in the world this small thing will help someone else in a small way, who will then be able to help others in small ways, for we are all connected, despite the amount of money we have in our pockets.
'I hope you will take up this challenge too.'

Take up the challenge

If you would like to 'live below the line' for Christian Aid and want more information, please visit the Live below the line website or contact Kerry Crellin in the Christian Aid North East office on 01912 280115.

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