Could you live on just $1.50 per day? According to the World Bank, those living in what is categorized as “extreme poverty” only have a daily budget of $1.50. It was this revelation that inspired Richard Fleming from theGlobal Poverty Project and Nick Allardice from the Oaktree Foundation to feel the daily struggles of the developing world.
“They lived on a $1.50 a day,” says Justine Lucas, campaigns manager for Live Below the Line U.S. “They found that it wasn’t just a learning experience for them — it started a conversation. They couldn’t go to a bar and just drink water all night while their friends had beers without talking about what extreme poverty is and what it means.”
Out of that conversation came Live Below the Line — part challenge, part social media awareness strategy — to gain a better understanding of life in extreme poverty. The challenge itself is simple: Participants are budgeted a mere $7.50 for five days’ worth of food and drink. Live Below the Line encourages participants to raise funds for developing world and poverty-oriented charities, and to record their journey through blogs,Facebook and Twitter. Thus far, there have been more than 25,000 participants globally.
“Social media is crucial to a campaign like this,” Lucas says. “We’ve tried to be really creative — we’re pushing people to change their profile pictures to the Live Below the Line logo. And in our supporter emails we send in the weeks leading up to the challenge, we encourage people to use social media platforms to talk about their experience and inspire others to contribute to the campaign.”