Mum doing Poverty Challenge: Living Below the Line

The following article, with our own Sarah Wilson from The Forever Years, was published in the Otago Daily Times newspaper on Friday 3rd October 2014.  The article is below, followed by some information for those interested in doing the Live Below the Line Poverty Challenge.

Good on ya, Sarah!  We’re proud of you!  🙂

Mum doing poverty challenge


Sarah Wilson with daughter, who is sampling the lemonade Sarah sold on her street to raise money for "Live Below the Line"

Sarah Wilson with her daughter, who is sampling the lemonade Sarah sold on her street to raise money for “Live Below the Line.” Photo by Gerard O’Brien, Otago Daily Times.

Forget food – a Dunedin mother taking on a poverty challenge is more worried about missing her daily coffee.  Next week, Sarah Wilson will live on just $2.25 a day when she completes the Live Below the Line challenge. This small sum is the equivalent to the international extreme poverty line, and allows for 75c to be spent on each meal.  The challenge is aimed at giving participants a glimpse into the lives of people living in poverty around the world and raising money for a charity of their choice.Sarah Wilson, a mother of three, will live below the extreme poverty line for five days in a bid to raise money and awareness of sex trafficking.  Mrs Wilson heard of the Live Below the Line challenge only recently, but her family sponsored a child through the organisation Tear Fund, which triggered her interest.  Tear Fund, along with other agencies is taking part in the Live Below the Line challenge and has chosen fighting sex trafficking as its cause.  Tear Fund media and communication intern Monique Vallom said there were about 360 participants in the event.

Mrs Wilson had given to the cause previously and this was a way for her to show she was serious about it by ”donating herself”.  She has made an online poster to promote her fundraising and aims to raise $500 in total.  She will also sell home-made lemonade on her street to fundraise.

Although she would not starve, it would still be demanding.  Her biggest challenge would be going without coffee for the five days.

”I love coffee; it’s going to be quite a challenge.”

With three children, aged 2, 4 and 7, she will probably still cook meals for them while she completes the challenge, but might turn to One Helping Cookbook.  It was developed with the help of well-known Kiwi chefs, who created 40 recipes for meals that cost 75c per helping to make. All proceeds from the cookbook sales will go towards the fight against sex trafficking.

 – by Bridget Rutherford 

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About the Live Below The Line Poverty Challenge

“1.2 billion people (including children) around our planet live in extreme poverty.  That’s almost 20% of the world’s population who live off $2.25 per day for food and drink, as well as housing, education, health and all the other necessities most of us take for granted.  Here at Live Below the Line, we think that gives us 1.2 billion reasons to take action to end poverty”.

These lines come from the Live Below the Line website, which you can find at  (You can click on your own country to find out how to participate in your part of the world).

Participants in the Live Below the Line Poverty Challenge exist on the set amount (in NZ $2.25 per day) for a week.  They raise funds for a charity organisation of their choice by getting sponsors or through other fundraising ventures (such as Sarah’s lemonade stand).  This is a wonderful way of understanding the perspective of those in the poorest parts of our “Global Family” and empathising with those who, as well as struggling to feed themselves on this small amount, are attempting to raise and provide for their children: as well as doing something practical about it by donating any money raised.  Another friend of mine who completed the challenge last year said that, while you often have “enough” of “cheaper foods”to make you “feel full”, the energy gained from eating these foods is minimal.  He said you can see how children whose nutrition is substandard struggle to learn or play.

So a big round of applause to Sarah and all those everywhere who are completing the Live Below the Line Poverty Challenge.  Your actions really are making a difference!

(This section written by Kirsteen McLay-Knopp)

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