Family to go below line
That time can represent a weekend or a couple of days working and spending time with family and friends for most of us. It can be filled with food and fun.
But 48 hours is also the average time it takes for a victim of child trafficking to be taken from a home and forced into prostitution.
Most victims are children aged 12 or under.
The Winthrop family of Onehunga had these facts in mind when it decided to sacrifice a week’s worth of good food to experience, albeit for a limited time, what it is like to be faced with the grinding poverty that 1.2 billion people globally live with every day.
The Winthrops – mum Nicola, dad Graeme and kids Lauren, 17, Mani, 15, Josh, 12, Nadia, 8, and Theo, 5 – will be living on $2.25 per day per person for this year’s Live Below the Line, the annual fundraising and awareness campaign fighting extreme poverty.
They will be raising money and awareness for TEAR Fund’s work against child trafficking. It will mean a diet of mainly lentils and rice for a week with little opportunity for any fresh food.
It’s a big sacrifice, especially for youngsters, but the Winthrop kids are all up for it, even 5-year-old Theo.
The children spent many of their young years in Asia, including Indonesia, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. They have seen firsthand those living without what many consider the basic necessities.
‘‘It will be interesting to have a taste of it,’’ Mani, 15, says.
‘‘We’ve all witnessed it, seen the kids on the street, but we have never experi- enced it so it will give us a new level of understanding.
‘‘And even though we’re living on $2.25 people overseas still live on less than that.’’
Mrs Winthrop says while abroad the family lived in local communities rather than expat enclaves and saw some eye-opening things.
Live Below the Line is an opportunity to remind the whole clan life for others is not a walk in the park.
‘‘It’s being socially aware and not wanting to have the kids’ vision watered down while we’re living in such an affluent country,’’ she says.
They also want to raise awareness of the work TEAR Fund is doing to fight child trafficking.
‘‘Trafficking is so closely linked to poverty.
‘‘A village girl can be so easily lured by an aunty or family member, they think they’re going for a job in the city as a receptionist but they’re not.
‘‘There’s a 48-hour window to when someone is trafficked to when they will service their first client,’’ Mrs Winthrop says.
‘‘If we can do something to help raise awareness we’re quite keen to help with that,’’ she says.
Already 900 New Zealanders have signed up to Live Below the Line, vowing to live on just $2.25 a day from September 23 to 27.
Lentil diet looming: The Winthrop family of Onehunga will be doing Live Below the Line in 2013. From left are Josh, 12, Lauren, 17, Nadia, 8, Mani, 15, Theo, 5, Nicola and Graeme.