For #CharityTuesday this week I’d really like you to think about your family budget. If it is anything like my own then it will involve regular swaps and adjustments with unexpected expenses being paid for by missing out on a trip to the cinema or a take-away. Hardly a hardship when you consider that the official global poverty line is classed as having to live on less than £1 a day! £1 a day – for everything – could you do it?
‘Live Below the Line’ Guest Blog
Written by Erin Bishop
At UNICEF we work for the world’s children. Our mission? To build a world where the rights of every child are realised no matter where in the world they live. Every day millions of children across the world are struggling to survive because they lack adequate food, shelter, basic medical care and often miss out on the chance to go to school. It shouldn’t be like this.
Here at UNICEF UK we organise loads of great fundraising events to raise money that will directly fund UNICEF’s work to help give these children a better start in life. From trekking up Kilimanjaro, biking through India and running across the country in events such as the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, anyone can take part or do their bit for UNICEF and raise much-needed funds to help save children’s lives.
This year to add to the colourful mix of events is ‘Live Below the Line’, which is taking place from the 7th – 11th of May. This challenge really does what it says on the tin: participants live below the poverty line for a week, spending only £1 a day for 5 days on food and drink, to highlight the fact that 1 billion children across the globe are struggling without enough to eat and drink day in, day out. Could you live on £1 a day for a week? Anyone can sign up and take the challenge to help save and transform a child’s life.
The global poverty line is defined by the World Bank who classifies poverty as having to live on less than £1 a day. Hence why we are encouraging people to try to survive for 5 days on £5 alone.
For those taking on the ‘Live Below the Line Challenge’ getting by on £1 a day clearly isn’t easy – but it’ll definitely get you planning ahead, practising your best budgeting skills, and consulting a few trusty recipe books. Taking part in the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge is one way to understand some of the difficulties that children living in poverty have to face daily. It’s also a fantastic way of encouraging people to sponsor you in order to raise vital funds for UNICEF’s work with children.
Michael from the UNICEF UK Media team ‘Lived Below the Line’ for a week this February. He says it was tough, but it really opened his eyes to how much we take for granted in our day-to-day lives.
“I had approached the week not really having thought about the cost of food, or even the amount of food we consume on a daily basis… I even made an unconscious mistake early in the week when I put butter on my toast without accounting for the price,” he tells me, adding, “the idea that so many people, many of them children, live on LESS than £1 a day is unfathomable.”
Mickey’s shopping list for the week:
5 cans of soup £1.55
1 loaf of bread 35p
4 packets of rice £1.79
12 potatoes 69p
Grand total: £4.84
UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations and receives no funding from the UN budget for its lifesaving work. This means that any money you raise will help to make a real difference to children’s lives. Last year ‘Live Below the Line’ raised an impressive £180,000. Help us beat it this year by taking part!
For more information about ‘Live Below the Line’ and to register to take part go to www.livebelowtheline.co.uk/unicef.
For more information about UNICEF and for other ways to help raise money for UNICEF go to www.unicef.org.uk