by Generate WA
Amanda, Chris and Daniel - or Team Rocket as they call themselves – are Generators from WA who are doing Live Below the Line for a whole month. Amanda writes about their experience so far:
So Chris decided that it be a great idea to do Live Below the Line for a month. I guess it took a while, but Daniel and I got on the band wagon and together we formed Team Rocket : I called Meowth, Chris called James, which left Daniel to be the oh-so-lovely Jesse. With very little planning, we did our first round of shopping. We made it through, we shopped again with almost just as little planning and here we are in Day 14!
Amanda: I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not gone to school. I believe so strongly in the power of education. At the same time I want to look back and say I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not done Live Below the Line. My LBL journey could not only be an amazing turning point in my life; but I’m confident that it is a turning point and in the lives of those 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty.
Chris: Live Below the Line is amazing because it puts participants in the position of the people that it aims to help, people who live on less then $2 a day of which there are 1.4 billion of them. I believe that through this unique, challenging Live Below the Line experience an amazing passion will be stirred inside me and all the other participants throughout Australia. And with this passion will come great dedication towards committing our lives towards ending extreme poverty and becoming the generation of change.
Daniel: Live Below the Line is an incredible campaign and I’m so convinced of how incredible it is. It does two immensely important things in the fight towards ending extreme poverty: it raises awareness and it raises money. The Live Below the Line experience is like no other and it really portrays the conditions of extreme poverty in a meaningful way. The money raised is doing amazing things in Papua New Guinea, providing kids education which is what I see as the best way to break the poverty cycle. No matter what we do it for and how we do it, Live Below the Line connects young Australians all around the country to fight for this one unbelievable but totally achievable cause: ending extreme poverty.
What we’ve learned so far
When we sat down to talk about what we had learnt through our LBL experience so far, we decided to be honest.
Chris admitted that he founds his diet hadn’t changed much, which made him realize that maybe his poor uni student lifestyle isn’t the healthiest of life paths… but overall in terms of diet, we are all doing alright so far other then the occasional cravings. What we all agreed on was that through this experience we’ve had a limitation on what kind of choices we could make. When you’re trying to eat on $2 a day you can’t be eating whatever you want. Its no longer as simple as “let’s buy that $10 sandwich” – it becomes a matter of working out nutritional value, cost and how long each item can last for. We also have to be limiting when we eat and how much and even where we go, as we can’t be studying in cafes anymore if we’re just ordering cups of tap water. Chris and Daniel have also been walking about 10 minutes from their house to collect their drinking water from a tap and they’ve admitted it’s been a real inconvenience. Chris has even gone thirsty at home a few times because he found the trek for water such an annoyance.
Hard choices are a big aspect of living in extreme poverty. Your choices become limited when you’re trying to take care of all the important aspects of life – food, water, electricity, medicine – on $2 a day.
Even while we’re doing Live Below the Line, we’re still incredibly lucky. Unlike the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, we can still go out and get an education, we could still buy medicine or go see a doctor if we got sick, we can still take hot showers and sleep in our warm beds. Even thought it’s inconvenient and tough at times, we still have good access to safe and clean water and enough food for us to get by.
When something as basic as food becomes a thing that you need to think about carefully because there are so little options for you then I can’t imagine what life would be like if it wasn’t just food that had a $2 a day restriction on it.
What we’ve achieved
All of us collectively aim to raise $1555 and so far we have raised $585.
We’ve definitely bonded together as a group. I like referring to us as Team Rocket and I love that we’re our own little cohesive group. These past few weeks have made us into more passionate, dedicated people. Even though we haven’t reached that far in terms of money raised yet, we’re striving so hard towards that. I stay awake at night excited about all these ideas for fundraising. Chris and Daniel come up with amazing ideas to push our limits and drive us out of our comfort zones so we work closer towards understanding what it’s like to live in extreme poverty.
Live Below the Line has been a unique experience for us and we’re excited that the money we raise will go towards the best and most efficient ways to pull people out of extreme poverty.
It’s hard, but I know we’ll look back and be grateful that we went through the Live Below the Line experience. We’re going to be grateful for everything we learned and everyone we helped and everyone we meet and everyone we inspired. Talk to us on May 11th and ask us how it was. We’ll have amazing stories to tell.