reasons to sponsor me

invert-logo_squareReasons 1-30 originally appeared as individual blog posts for one month from 29 April – 28 May 2013 .

If you feel prompted by any of the below, you can show your support here. (please note donations will be frozen after 30 June 2013 until the launch of the 2014 campaign)

#1 For 5 days I’ll be living on £1 a day. The other 360 days a year I get to live on more than that but 25% of the world’s population don’t. This is not about me. It is about them. Your sponsorship can and WILL change lives and will go toward seeing an end to extreme poverty within a generation. Any contribution, big or small, can have a lasting impact for someone who just needs a leg-up out of poverty.

#2 Did you know that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty across the world has halved in the last 30 years? It’s true! If this trend continues (or accelerates!) we will see an end to extreme poverty within a generation. Don’t stand on the sidelines. Take the opportunity to get involved by supporting me Live Below the Line or opt take the challenge yourself!

#3 We have seen such incredible progress in poverty alleviation and the eradication of disease. But, while we enjoy our Easter eggs today, thousands of children will die from hunger or from diseases that we know how to prevent and cure. Statistics like this make me want to weep. Especially when we know what it takes to fight diseases like Polio and Malaria. We can change this situation but we just need to step-up our efforts. If you feel the same and agree that something MUST be done then please sponsor me as I take a stand against this injustice when I Live Below the Line.

#4 Think poverty is too big to tackle? Not so! 90 years ago around 10% of children died before their 5th birthday here in the UK. Today, less than 1% of children don’t make it to the age of 5. This is thanks to investment in things like health care and nutrition. And we are seeing similar trends around the world. If more is invested in vaccines, people have a better chance at a healthy life, giving them the opportunity to work their way out of poverty. So simple, yet so effective. Your sponsorship toward my Live Below the Line goal supports ongoing work to promote life-saving efforts like getting more children vaccinated.

#5 Every night around 1 billion people go to bed hungry. This is not because there isn’t enough food for everyone. Rather, the food is unequally distributed. In the UK alone we will throw out around £10b worth of food this year. Yikes! This just isn’t right. People are starving and we are just throwing away billions of pounds of food. Let’s work together to balance the scales. If you decide to sponsor me to Live Below the Line, your contribution will support ongoing work toward seeing a world where no one has to go to bed hungry!

#6 Last week I heard a fantastic talk by Dr Daleep Mukarji OBE who said, “The one person you have the power to change is yourself. Set a good standard and then you might be able to change other people.” So that is what I will be doing when I Live Below the Line later this month. By living on £1 for food and drink I will gain insight into what it might feel like to live in extreme poverty. I doubt I will ever truly know what that is like but the least I can do is try. Because those who live in extreme poverty are people just like me. And like you.

#7 I know there are many differing views about whether aid actually works in eradicating poverty. I agree that there is bad aid but there is also good aid that has proved – and still is proving – efficient. It is when aid is used to produce long-term benefits and allows people to work their way out of poverty – getting children into school, helping small farmers, microfinance – that we see poverty rates fall. All these things can and are making a massive difference to people’s lives. We can end extreme poverty!

#8 I’ll be living on £1 for food and drink for five days and then starting my final university exams four days later. That’s how strongly I feel about a world without extreme poverty.

#9 Corruption happens all the time. And yes, this can interfere with efforts to alleviate poverty in some places. We can’t pretend that it doesn’t happen but we also can’t use that as an excuse to simply do nothing. There are fantastic organisations who are making huge steps forward in the fight against corruption, holding corporations and governments to account. And we can also play our part by holding our own governments to account. It is against those who seek to interfere with poverty eradication that I take a stand when I Live Below the Line. If you agree that corruption is wrong then why not sign up to Live Below the Line too or support me as I do?!

#10 Yesterday was a big day for the UK gambling industry. Grand National day is the biggest annual gambling day for the UK. While my humane side detests the spectacle of jump racing and wishes it would be completely banned, I’ll resist the urge to digress. Instead, I am fascinated by the way in which people seem to be so quick to part with their cash when there is absolutely no guarantee of a return. In the case of the winner there was as little as a 66:1 chance of punters getting anything back. Yet people still take the risk. I’m left baffled that so many would happily partake in the hype of a horse-race but when it comes to taking a chance on the odds of ending poverty, they would rather be a non-participatory spectator.
If you’re reading this, I have a feeling you would prefer to be in on this one. And by contributing, the odds of a great return are reinforced by these hugely encouraging statistics relating to the Millenium Development Goals. By sponsoring me to Live Below the Line you will be taking part in something far more exciting, rewarding and certain than a horse-race could ever be: you’ll become part of the movement to end extreme poverty.

#11 If I am perfectly honest I must admit I am rather nervous about living on £1 a day for food and drink later this month. I know it is only for five days and I know I have done it before but I am conscious that I should be at optimum health going into my final exams, which begin straight after the campaign has ended. On the other hand, I feel ashamed. Every day millions of children go to school on an empty stomach, many having walked miles to get there. They are likely to have carried out chores – such as fetching water from far away – prior to the school day. Yet their hunger to learn and to gain an education is far stronger than the ache in their stomachs. I guess when I lose perspective I just need to remind myself that I am doing this for them. If you want to show your support (and offer reassurance) you can do so by sponsoring me.

#12 Yesterday’s news of the passing of Maragaret Thatcher saw the media flooded with tributes in honour of the life of this remarkable woman. Reading a few of them, there is no doubt that she deserves her place in history for the incredible things she accomplished and for the legacy that she leaves behind. It got me thinking that the world needs people like Baroness Thatcher; people who do the ‘big stuff’ which has a lasting positive impact on the world as we know it. On the other hand, the world also needs people like me and you, working together for change. If one person can achieve so much, how much more effective can we be if a number of us work together? So, I do things like living on £1 a day for food and water and by sponsoring me we are in it together. We all have the potential to do great things. Why not do something small today (like sponsoring me!) that could have a much more significant impact in the long term? Let our generation’s legacy be the end of extreme poverty.

#13 Today’s reason is rather quite simple. I’m not asking you to sponsor me because I decided to set myself an ambitious target. I am asking you to partner with me in this because I am convinced that we can end extreme poverty. I believe with all my heart that if we work together we will see a day when no one starves, or dies from disease, or is trafficked, or despairs because they do not have the resources to care properly for their family. I was created to care. If you do too, please show your support.

#14 Today’s reason is for those of you who need more incentive than the rewarding notion of ending extreme poverty (as if!). In the name of injustice, if I reach my £500 goal, I will record myself doing a ‘Live Below the Line’ crazy, victory dance and upload it for your point-and-laugh viewing pleasure. Do you really want to miss out on an opportunity like this?

#15 At the start of this month I set myself the challenge of coming up with thirty reasons to encourage you to sponsor me to Live Below the Line. In reality, I could give you 1.4 billion reasons – the number of people who live in extreme poverty today. But it doesn’t have to be this way and you – yes, you – can be part of the solution to stop this incredible injustice in its tracks. By supporting me to live on £1 for food and drink, we can raise awareness of the plight of 25% of the world’s population. As fellow Global Poverty Project ambassador, Leanne Hooper, said yesterday, ‘Together we’ll change the world‘.

#16 Because Hugh Jackman thinks it’s a good idea and he’s really cool.

#17 Without life’s basics such as food, water, health care, education and earning a living, people inevitably become trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty. Life is an ongoing battle for survival. We know it happens but most of us feel like there isn’t really anything that we can do about it.
There is something – lots of things, in fact – that we can do. We can buy Fairtrade and know that small-scale farmers are earning a decent living. We can give a micro-finance loan to enable an entrepreneur in the developing world to grow their business. We can learn more about the issues and subsequently raise awareness, which is where I’d love to encourage you to get involved today. By simply reading this post and then sponsoring me to Live Below the Line, you are helping to spread the message that ending extreme poverty can happen in our lifetime

#18 I love cake. I could live on large, scrumptious slices of red velvet, chocolate and even bigger portions of carrot cake. Some of my fondest memories are of visits to my grandmother where I would be greeted with a delectable caramel cake, complete with Peppermint Crisp shavings. This post is leaving me craving cake for breakfast.
When you live on £1 a day, cake simply is not an option. In fact, if you are able to afford two meals of vegetables and rice it is probably a good day.
This is a gross injustice. Everyone should be able to enjoy the delights of a piece of cake now and again. While my tone is somewhat jokey, I do believe that everyone on Earth should be able to choose what to eat rather than being forced to see food as a means of survival. Why should choice be a privilege of the rich? If you agree, please support me as I Live Below the Line, on behalf of all those who deserve to have cake (and eat it!).

#19 Many of us will have woken to the news this morning of a bomb attack at the finishing line of the Boson Marathon. Three people were killed while many others were injured. This is very sad news and I do not want to discredit the shock or the heartbreak that many must be facing as a result.
Yet, as a friend highlighted to me this morning, this tragedy occurs in contrast with the thousands of lives lost every single day as a result of starvation and curable disease. The difference is that they don’t get the media coverage.
And that is exactly why I am Living Below the Line for five days, because those families deserve exposure too. The way in which I see people reacting to the recent bomb attack is the way I wish we would react as a society to the ongoing tragedy of unecessary loss of life as a result of extreme poverty.

#20 I believe no one has to go to bed hungry.
I believe no one has to die of a disease that we know how to prevent and/or cure.
I believe everyone can have access to life’s essentials, like clean water and sanitation.
I believe everyone can and should be given the opportunity to work their way out of poverty.
We live in a world where our actions affect others and their actions affect us…which means we can’t just ignore extreme poverty. It involves all of us and it is going to take us working together to end it.
Make today the day when you get involved by helping me spread the message and supporting me to Live Below the Line

#21 Last night I watched the British Animal Honours awards. I had to rehydrate afterwards as I cried my way through the better part of the two hour show. Some tears were for the cruelty that these poor animals must suffer; some were for those brave creatures who have changed and saved lives. But mostly I cried because I felt a renewed sense of the incredible things we can do as a community who cares. When I started to feel rather disgusted by the cruelty of which people are capable, my disappointment would be quelled by someone being awarded for their work in standing against injustice and rallying those around them.
I used to get upset when some people didn’t seem interested in things I care deeply about. Yet, I am learning to appreciate that our differences are what will change the world. While some care desperately about climate change, others feel passionate about equal rights for women. Many get fired-up by political issues while for some it is the plight of child slaves that get them stirred to action. I believe that if we all just do something – even something small – to counteract those things that we know to be wrong, this world can be a much nicer place for everyone.
Ending extreme poverty is what I was born to care about. And I will be part of the fight against it until it is no more.

#22 If today’s reason isn’t enough to convince you that our efforts to eradicate extreme poverty are working then…I give up.
Okay, I don’t really. I’ll never give up. But I am serious that what I am about to tell you is HUGE news in terms of progress.
Recent figures released by the World Bank show that extreme poverty is falling. And not just by a little bit either. In 2005, the percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty was roughly 25%. Latest figures show that in 2011 just 20.63% now live on less than £1 a day. If you compare this with the 41% who suffered the same plight in 1990, you can see that we must be doing something right.
So, doing things like living on £1 for 5 days in order to raise awareness is having an impact! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of history by showing your support.

#23 My hungry tummy + your kind donation = being part of the movement to end extreme poverty. Simples.

#24 If you love me, you’ll support me. Ha, I’m just kidding. Anyway, I know that you are far too nice a person to visit this page and then choose not to support me.
Okay, okay, I’m stooping to manipulation but if you have it in your heart and you care about the extreme poor (or simply feel sorry for me!) then please support my efforts.

#25 Did you know that, thanks to the Millennium Development goals, nearly 14,000 less children die everyday than in 1990? Or that the world has achieved parity in primary education between boys and girls? Poverty alleviation measures are working! You can help keep up the momentum by showing your support here. As part of the Live Below the Line campaign I’ll be living on just £1 a day for food and drink next week. Let’s work together so that this is no longer an everyday reality for millions of people around the world.

#26 I have set myself an ambitious target for my Live Below the Line challenge but really this is not just about raising money. It’s about raising awareness and all of us getting involved with the fight against extreme poverty. Even a donation of £1 (which happens to be my daily food budget for this 5 day challenge) will go a long way to showing you care.

#27 This year UK households will waste £10 billion worth of food. That is more than three times the budget of the World Food Program who need to try and feed all the world’s hungry.
Solving poverty doesn’t mean that we will have less. There is more than enough to go around, as the aforementioned statistics highlight. Let’s work together to balance the scales.

#28 In a recent TED talk, U2 rocker Bono shared how he has become a ‘factivist’. He spoke of  how he gets his thrills from seeing incredible progress in the fight against extreme poverty…of which there has been plenty!
I may not be famous like Bono (or as cool!) but one thing we share is a dream to see extreme poverty become a phenomenon of the past. If you would like to join us in the fight, why not support me as I live on £1 a day from next Monday to Friday to raise awareness about the issues faced by millions around the world right now?

#29 I started doing my Live Below the Line shopping today and I must admit I’m a bit scared of being hungry next week. I feel pathetic considering so many people live on £1 a day, for everything, everyday around the world.
It’s not right. No one should have to constantly worry about where the next meal is going to come from. Let’s be the change, together.

#30 Ending extreme poverty takes all of us. For me, this looks like living on £1 for food and drink for 5 days. For you, maybe it’s simply showing your support to people like me. What I am doing is no more of a contribution than your financial support. Each little thing we do makes a difference. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that it is the very nature of this blog: each one of us doing something small that will have a wider impact. So if you think that your contribution, no matter how small or big, won’t really change the world I am here to tell you that it will.
As I enter into my Live Below the Line week tomorrow, I do so filled with incredible gratitude to all those who have already shown their support and in the hope that all of us together will one day change our world for the better.


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