Life in the UK is incredibly comfortable.
- When I was on Job Seeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit I had £16.89 per day to live on, which covered my rent, my bills, my toiletries, and my food, and I didn’t have to pay council tax!
- Working just 2 ½ days a week in an admin role, I spend a comfortable but slimline £2.50 a day (or there-abouts) just on food and drink, plus extra on the occasional meal out or coffee with a friend.
- In contrast, globally speaking, 20% of all human beings – about 1.2 billion people – have to survive on the equivalent of less than £1 per day, for everything.
- Even on benefits, which is meant to be a subsistence income, I had an income of more than 16 times what 20% of the human race have to survive on.
- In fact, somebody on the UK minimum wage for over 21s, working full time, has £33.80 per day to live on, minus tax.
We are so blessed to live here in the UK.
Live Below The Line challenges individuals to taste poverty for five days, by reducing the amount spent on food and drink to £1 (or 1.50 USD) per day for the five days. It doesn’t pretend that it is anything like the real thing, but it hopes that the experience will make people more passionate to end extreme poverty globally, and raise some money for some excellent charities in the process.
It’s happening at the end of April, and I’ve signed up! I’ll be supporting two brilliant charities –
Send a Cow – a charity that focuses on teaching sustainable agriculture, farmer-to-farmer.
Tearfund (aka The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund) – a Christian charity that works with local churches to impact communities and bring them out of poverty, and which provides relief in crisis situations.
This is scary for me.
One of the things that I have learned over the last couple of years is just how closely linked food and emotional well-being are for me. I’m sure that it is true of many of us! Eating well and functioning well simply go hand-in-hand. It’s scary that I will inevitably have a pretty rubbish diet for five whole days. But precisely because so many people do not have the choice, and because I figure that if I can raise even a little money that would be amazing, I have signed up.
Hopefully by doing this I will also be able to persuade a few other people join me in the challenge, raise awareness for two fabulous charities, and use the time to learn more about and pray for communities in poverty around the world.
Details for how to donate to my two charities coming soon!