Wow folks, no blog posts in 8 months?! Just where have I been? Busy.. that’s where
I got made redundant from my old job, which was actually a great opportunity for me to step out into something new. So I did just that.
I recently became the NZ Director for the Global Poverty Project… a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to invigorate the global movement to take effective concerted action on extreme poverty.
Living off my savings to get the project kick-started, I’ve just finished a 4-month tour of the country, promoting my project and learning about social change from amazing communities around the country.
And now I’ve just returned to Wellington to launch my first ever national campaign… Live Below The Line.
For five days this August, hundreds of Kiwis will be living below the international poverty line of $2.25 a day to cover their food budget. This difficult challenge is part of a new fundraising campaign aimed at combating extreme poverty around the world.
These participants will use their daily experiences to bring extreme poverty to the centre of conversation in homes and workplaces. They will gain a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by those trapped in the cycle of extreme poverty, and at the same time, they will be fundraising for 5 different charities that are fighting poverty in a myriad of different ways. These charities are The Global Poverty Project, Oxfam, Volunteer Service Abroad, P3 Foundation, and Christian World Service.
When I first decided to roll out Live Below The Line in New Zealand, I knew there would be a great response. This is a country after all that is used to punching well above it’s weight when it comes to making statements about things that matter. Nuclear free… the Springbok tour… Women’s Suffrage. Still a month away from the actual challenge, I am already excited to see how many Kiwis are taking this on board.
I’m taking the $2.25 challenge too. Myself and my fellow participants will no doubt struggle without caffeine, and have a faint feeling of being not quite full for the whole week. We’ll pool money with our friends who are taking the challenge to make that $2.25 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 is over 300 times the population of New Zealand – living every day to live in the most abject poverty.
For people who live in extreme poverty that $2.25 has to cover far more than food and drink. It has to cover everything – health, housing, transport, food, education. It is impossible to imagine, but it is the incomprehensible reality for an incredible number of people.
Many might think that $2.25 goes a lot further in developing countries. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The $2.25 figure represents the amount someone living in extreme poverty in New Zealand would have to live on, for all of their needs.
We’d love a lot more people to get involved though. When they ran Live Below The Line in Australia earlier this year they raised AUS$1.4million for crucial anti-poverty initiatives. Wouldn’t it be great if we could match that! The difference it would make for those living in poverty would be immense.
So, now I’m back home, and the ball is really rolling on my new campaign, you can expect to hear a lot more from me again in the future
aroha ki a koutou katoa
p.s. Anyone wanting to take the Live Below The Line Challenge, or support someone who is, can find out more at www.livebelowtheline.co.nz