Live Below the Line is an OakTree Foundation campaign that helps Australians to better understand the extreme poverty that some parts of the world are facing and to make a difference. From May 6th - 10th, thousands of Australians will take up the challenge to eat on $2 a day.
Why only $2 a day? According to the World Bank statistics, $2 is the extreme poverty line. Live Below the Line lets Australians walk in the shoes of the extremely impoverished and lets them experience and feel what they feel everyday. It's a worthwhile experience that gives you a window into the day-to-day lives of people living in poverty.
This campaign works to both raise awareness of extreme poverty around the world and also to fundraise donations to aid these people. Donations from Live Below the Line goes to those living in extreme poverty in Cambodia and Papua New Guinea. The Oaktree Foundation believes that the best way to break the cycle of poverty is through education and skills training. The money raised from this campaign will help to give young students scholarships, pay for their learning resources and uniforms, to ensure they have the best teaching staff and many other avenues.
Live Below the Line was a success in 2012 with more than 7800 Australians taking up the challenge to live on $2 a day for five days. The campaign managed to raise over $1.92 million for schools and teachers.
There are a few ways to try and make this whole experience slightly easier. Live Below the Line suggests that you work in a team. If you group up with people, you'll be able to total your $2 a day together and get more money to spend. So if you and a friend have decided to team up, that means you've got $20 to spend between each of you. It's also more fun raising awareness and fundraising when you've got company. The website also has a great community; people are sharing their experiences, recipes and tips to survive eating on $2 a day.
There are two main rules of this challenge. The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of rice, sugar, eggs, etc. You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team though, as long as no participant spends more than their $10 budget. You must include the store price of any other food you get - including food from the pantry, the garden, or "donated" by friends.
I will be taking up the challenge this year and I hope that this cause resonates with many others. This will definitely be an eye-opening experience to the struggles of everyday life for the extremely impoverished people.