This evening I watched a film called Girl Rising. It begins with a small orphan girl rummaging through a sea of garbage in a looming, ominous rubbish dump. I was eating my dinner at the time and I felt it stick in my throat as I imagined my own daughter, Scarlett, in that situation. I could feel the sobs ascending from my gut. That little girl was someone’s daughter, someone’s Scarlett. Poverty had led her to that place.
Many times I have gazed at my four-month-old little girl and considered her privilege. She has no idea how blessed she is, wanting for nothing, safe from harm or hunger. I feel anxious thinking about how it might feel if I was unable to provide for her. What anguish a mother must endure on hearing her child’s relentless screams of hunger but unable to feed them.
Poverty no longer makes sense to me. There is enough money to promote global equality. There is sufficient food to feed everyone in the world. We know how to cure diseases. Yet, 25,000 children still die from hunger and illness each day. Poverty is an injustice brought about by selfish priorities and complacency. It is an evil which can be defeated.
This year I am living below the line on behalf of all the mothers around the world who have had to watch their children die because they could not afford to save them. I am living on £1 a day for the mothers who want a better life for their children than they themselves have had. As I go hungry for five days I will be standing alongside the millions of people who justifiably hope for a world where poverty is no more.
If you would like to support the work of Tearfund who do incredible work helping people to lift themselves out of poverty, please support me to Live Below the Line from 27 April – 1 May this year. You can visit my sponsorship page here.