Our guest blogger today is Justine Lucas, U.S. Campaigns Manager at the Global Poverty Project.
Over a billion people on this planet live in extreme poverty. Yet, for many of us, extreme poverty is a fairly abstract, intangible issue. We feel it is an injustice. We know it is intolerable. We fight to change this reality. But we are working to eliminate something we do not have the access or perspective to smell, taste, feel or with which to have a tangible interaction.
Furthermore, extreme poverty is not an issue that often comes up in everyday conversation. We may take action online but it is not something that we usually discuss with friends, perhaps because of engrained perceptions that it would lead to a discussion of hopelessness, sadness, intractability.
But in reality, the story of extreme poverty is a story of progress. It is a story worth sharing. It is a story we need to tell to continue to inspire the movement necessary to see its end.
Stemming from these realities came the development of the Live Below the Line campaign; an opportunity to combine online and offline engagement with these issues and have a proximate real-world experience that offers a glimpse at the lack of opportunity and choice that defines extreme poverty. Living in extreme poverty equates to living on less than $1.50 a day in the U.S. (the World Bank’s delineation of the extreme poverty line) for everything: food, shelter, transport, healthcare, etc.
The Live Below the Line campaign focuses in on one of these elements — food — and challenges people to eat on $1.50 per day for 5 days while fundraising for a charity partner that works on the ground on extreme poverty issues. From 29 April to 3 May, people around the world will take on the challenge together.
The beauty of this campaign is the conversations it inspires. These conversations transpire between participants, within the family and communities of participants, with donors and with complete strangers who wonder why you are eating rice out of a Tupperware container.
Live Below the Line is an opportunity for 120 hours of contention with these issues and an opportunity to inspire those around you to join in this movement. And most importantly, Live Below the Line is an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with the world’s poor. Are you in?
Live Below the Line is a campaign of the Global Poverty Project.