In ten days a team of dedicated Christian World Service supporters take up the serious challenge of Living Below the Line.
Not for them the comfort of a coffee a day – a flat white or long black will sink their food budget for two. Instead they are picking up the challenge to spend just $2.25 a day on food from 23-27 September. In tribute to their willingness to go without food, kind people are stumping up sponsorship money for CWS partner the Women’s Development Resource Centre (WDRC) working with Dalit, Tribal and Gypsy communities in South India.
“The families and individuals who have signed up to Live Below the Line with CWS need more support. They are willing to eat less knowing they will help many more people for whom hunger is a daily reality. If you can’t join them, maybe you could sponsor one of them,” said Pauline McKay, National Director.
CWS participants will get a small taste of poverty by living on the global poverty line. From the experience of previous participants, the focus on what they can and can’t eat will make them very aware of how hunger saps energy and the search for food consumes all one’s resources. More importantly, their experience will be an incentive to work harder to end the injustice that causes extreme poverty. With 1.2 billion people living on $2.25 or less a day, many without adequate food or water, there is a lot to be done.
Live Below the Line is a movement of passionate people committed to make meaningful change using social media as a tool. It is challenging individuals and communities to spend $2.25 per day for food for 5 days from 23- 27 September. Last year participants raised over $9 000 to help young people running their own sports and education programmes in South Sudan. CWS has been part of Live Below the Line since its beginnings in 2011. This year participants are raising funds for the WDRC to help more people out of poverty and speak out for food justice in their communities.
“This experience made me realise what hunger can do, even for a short time, as well as how richly a number of us live most of the time. The week strengthened my resolve to be part of hunger relief and aid agency fundraising in the future having actually felt what it was like, as well as a wakeup call to the fact that too many New Zealand school children share a similar experience as we have learned from recent child poverty research,” says 2012 participant Archbishop David Moxon.
The WDRC makes sure the poor communities they work with in Tamil Nadu, South India have their rights recognised. From the right to vote, access to government entitlements like food rations or the right to dignity, WDRC works alongside communities to make change happen. Tribal people who were once paid only in low grade rice now earn wages, gypsies who often went hungry now have a plot of land, food and their own association, and Dalits (formerly called untouchables) who were despised and ignored are now serving on local councils.
“People should support CWS as its goal is to empower vulnerable people for their own development and to enjoy their human rights. CWS is supporting people in their empowerment process and encouraging them to initiate activities to end poverty and resist the impact of globalisation,” says Manohari Doss of the Women’s Development Resource Centre.
Find out more, sign up or sponsor someone else who will Live Below the Line with CWS.
13 September 2013