Liv­ing be­low the line

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

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.

Photo: DANIELLE STREET

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.

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