Living Below the Line

13 May 2011

Staff at Inksters have been living below the line in May. Last week Gus Macaulay, Kathleen Simmonds and Louise King lived for 5 days on just £1 per day on food. This week Brian Inkster did the same. Next week Iain Witheyman will take the challenge.

Live Below the Line is an incredible awareness and fundraising campaign that's making a huge difference in the fight against extreme poverty.

Live Below the Line allows thousands of people in the Global North to better understand the daily challenges faced by those trapped in the cycle of extreme poverty, and builds a movement of passionate people willing and able to make a meaningful difference for those who need it most.

For 5 days in May, thousands of people across the UK are spending just £1 each day on food, and using their daily experiences to bring extreme poverty to the centre of conversation in homes and workplaces. We'll all be challenged, we'll struggle without caffeine, and have a faint feeling of being not quite full for the whole week. We'll pool money with housemates, colleagues or family to make that one pound stretch just a little further...

We'll do all of this because whilst we choose to struggle to Live Below the Line for one week, there are 1.4 billion people who have no choice other than to do it every day.

Think about that figure - 1.4 BILLION - that's over 20 times the population of the UK - living every day to live in the most abject poverty.

"It's not that bad," you might say - "£1 goes a lot further in developing countries". - Unfortunately not. The £1 figure represents the amount someone living in extreme poverty in the UK would have to live on.

And for people who live in extreme poverty that £1 has to cover far more than food and drink - we're talking everything - health, housing, transport, food, education... It's impossible to imagine, but it's the incomprehensible reality for an incredible number of people.

Gandhi said that "Poverty is the worst form of violence". But it can be so hard to know how best to respond. That's where Live Below the Line comes in. 

Brian Inkster said "It has been a tough week. Careful planning is essential at the start of the challenge to make that £5 go as far as it possibly can. No snacks or treats all week. Porridge for breakfast, potato soup for lunch and cheap rice, pasta or couscous with root vegetables for dinner has been my staple diet for the week. It makes you appreciate the luxuries in life that we really have and take for granted on a daily basis. Joining the challenge gives you a better understanding of the challenges faced by people living in real poverty".

Over the next week or two Gus Macaulay, Kathleen Simmonds, Louise King, Brian Inkster and Iain Witheyman will be blogging about their experiences of living below the line at the Inksters Give Blog.

If you would like to sponsor Team Inksters, with the funds raised going to Christian Aid to help communities in the developing world out of poverty, then you can do so at Live Below the Line: Team Inksters.

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