Living below the line
THERE will be some hungry tummies at Western Springs College next week.
About 25 students at the school will be taking part in the week-long Live Below the Line challenge to raise money for Oxfam.
The challenge sees the students living off just $2.25 a day for five days to raise money for the charity that works to end poverty and injustice.
The aim is to give a glimpse into the poverty 1.2 billion people are faced with every day – $2.25 a day is the New Zealand equivalent of the extreme poverty line.
Seventeen-year-old Isabella Lenihan-Ikin spoke at the school assembly to rally the large group of students who will be taking part.
‘‘I think it’s important having the students doing it because we can see how communities in other parts of New Zealand and other parts of the world live,’’ Isabella says.
Not only did she get her schoolmates involved, her whole family will also be tightening its belt for the week.
‘‘I think that will make it easier,’’ she says.
‘‘The most challenging thing will be when I see other people having these lovely exotic lunches and I’ll be eating plain rice with tomatoes.’’
Topping the shopping list for the week will be lentils, oats, tinned tomatoes and seconds fruit.
Meanwhile Isabella will farewell chocolate and tea.
But she says it will be worth it to raise awareness about the poor living con- ditions suffered by so many people.
Isabella says the campaign already has many of her peers asking questions.
‘‘$2.25 is the price of a cake at the canteen,’’ she says.
‘‘But that’s what many New Zealanders are living off and I think that’s really close to home for most of us. I think that there is poverty in New Zealand that we need to address.’’
Oxfam spokeswoman Lucy Oakshott says doing the campaign is an easy way people can make a big difference.
‘‘The money raised from Live Below the Line enables all of Oxfam’s life-changing work.
‘‘Because of the incredible effort put in by Kiwis Living Below the Line for Oxfam, women will be protected from violence, families will grow more food and be able to send their children to school, communities will have access to safe water and people will have support rebuilding their lives and livelihoods after cyclones and other emergencies,’’ she says.
More than 900 New Zealanders have signed up for Live Below the Line, which raises money for a variety of charities.
The challenge runs from September 23 to 27.
Socially aware: Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, left, with just a handful of the students she has recruited to Live Below the Line for Oxfam next week.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to learn about Live Below the Line NZ.