Could you survive on only £1 a day for your food and drink? This is the harsh reality for billions of people around the world who have to experience a life of poverty on a daily basis.
The annual global anti-poverty campaign Live Below the Line 2014 challenges people to experience living on only £1 a day for food and drink. The challenge runs over 5 days from the 28th April to 2nd May 2014 in the UK and on various other dates in participating international countries.
The global campaign aims to provide an insight into the difficulties that poverty stricken families have to face and aims to change the way people think about extreme poverty.
According to the Global Poverty Project, since the inception of Live Below the Line in 2010, the campaign has attracted over 50,000 participants from over 70 countries around the world. In 2013, UK fundraisers and participants of the campaign raised a total of £822, 628 and it is anticipated that this year the total money raised to tackle poverty will rise as more fundraisers are participating in the scheme.
Multi award winning interfaith art practitioner, teacher and radio presenter, Shemiza Rashid participated in the challenge last year and will be participating again this with the aim of raising awareness of child poverty across the UK.
Shemiza said in a statement that, "I did the 'Live below the Line' challenge last year and it was an extraordinary experience that was spiritually uplifting but had a profound effect on me emotionally. All that was running through my mind was if I was to live in these circumstances how would I feed my 6 children and who would I feed first".
Shemiza further stated that,
"This is the anguish that many mothers in the third world have to go through every day and yet the sad reality is that food poverty is not just a third world problem any more. Statistics are suggesting that more and more children are going to sleep hungry and the demands on food banks donations are increasing . The increase in food prices and low wages make it difficult to provide a nutritional and well balanced diet . Yet thousands are living on as little as £2 per day. If the benefit system is revised or cut it will greatly impact the nutritional well being of children. It might sound dramatic but children living below the line are facing a food shortage crisis."
Although the UK is the world's six largest economy, 1 in 5 of the UK population live below our official poverty line, meaning that they experience life as a daily struggle.
The recession has left many families in poverty with the rise in unemployment and increase in food prices. There are a growing number of children that are going to school hungry because they do not have a proper breakfast. According to charity Save the Children child poverty is still prevalent in the UK and more awareness needs to be raised to tackle this issue.
Sarah Javaid, Executive Director and one of the founders of MADE in Europe, a Muslim charity campaigning against global poverty said in statement that,
"This will be MADE in Europe's 3rd year of participating in the Live Below The Line challenge. Everyone who has taken part so far has found it to be a really spiritually rewarding experience and a unique opportunity to reflect on our own lifestyle and consumption choices and stand in solidarity with the world's hungry.
Sarah further stated that, "As a campaigning charity, MADE in Europe is committed to raising awareness among UK communities about global hunger and poverty, and giving people a platform to make a contribution towards creating a more just world, however small."
There are many charities around the world and in the UK that are participating in the Live Below the Line challenge and people are encouraged to help raise vital funds for their respective charities to help build awareness and campaign against global hunger and poverty.
For more information on the Live Below the Line Challenge visit: www.livebelowtheline.com