How much change can you make out of £1? That’s the question Kristina Crawford, Helen Ashcroft, Rosemary Clarke and Vicki Rowberry, the Island’s Global Poverty Ambassadors, are asking as they embark on living below the poverty line with people from across the Isle of Man to help end extreme poverty.
The campaign, created by the Global Poverty Project and supported by celebrities Hugh Jackman and Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright, is an innovative campaign which challenges the public to get sponsored to cut their spending on food and drink to just £1 a day from 29th April - 3rd May 2013. This budget is the daily reality for 1.4 billion people around the world who are forced to live below the poverty line every day, for everything.
As Global Poverty Ambassadors, they believe extreme poverty can be eradicated in a generation and work through the campaign with over 30 charities from across the country, including, UNICEF, Salvation Army, RESULTS UK, Restless Development, Malaria No More UK and Christian Aid. In 2012, 20,000 people across the globe undertook the Live Below the Line challenge, raising over $3,500,000 for critical anti-poverty initiatives around the world and this year we hope to do even better. On the Isle of Man over £1,500 was raised by participants including MHK’s Phil Gawne and Laurence Skelly.
In 2013 the Manx Co-operative, in partnership with the Global Poverty Ambassador scheme, has put together a suggested menu plan and ideas for a Live Below the Line basket of food for a team of four people. This guide will be available at your local Co-operative store.
Hon Phil Gawne MHK and Laurence Skelly MHK are set to repeat the success of last year and will be joining a team in Port St Mary with Global Poverty Ambassador Helen Ashcroft comprising Adrian Cain, Manx Language Officer, Richard Ashcroft, Commissioner and proprietor of Patchwork Café, Eben Carswell of Studio 42 and staff from SUMT.im. The Island’s churches are also on board and Global Poverty Ambassadors Vicki Rowberry and Rosemary Clarke are taking the challenge with Bishop Robert Paterson, regional director of Christian Aid, Phil Craine and Manx Radio presenter, Judith Ley. Global Poverty Ambassador, Kristina Crawford and a group of 6th Form students from St Ninian’s High School will also be taking on the challenge, after the school team last year raised an amazing £800 in total.
Kristina says: “There really is no experience or campaign like Live Below the Line. It helps you understand better the issues faced by the 1.4billion people who currently live extreme poverty, in a fun and engaging way. Learning about the difficult challenges they face inspires you to take more action too. We’re not trying to replicate poverty but give people a deeper understanding of it - it’s a transformational experience. Of course for those living in extreme poverty, it’s not just 5 days nor is it the choice between brown or white rice, but often the choice between feeding your family or life-saving healthcare for your loved ones. I urge everyone to sign up”
You can join the challenge by registering at www.livebelowtheline.com/uk and joining the Isle of Man network. On this website you can find tips, recipes and you can create your own fundraising page.
The Ambassadors are delighted to see many more people signed up this year and hope to see many more participating in this campaign. There is an Isle of Man Live Below the Line Facebook page (www.facebook.com/IsleOfManLiveBelowTheLine) for unique updates on our local efforts.