Respected Youth Leader signs up to take Poverty Challenge
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Respected Youth Leader signs up to take
Live Below the Line continues to gather momentum as high-proﬁle national leaders commit to take the experiential poverty challenge. Building on the enthusiasm from a host of MPs signing up last week, Live Below the Line today announced that youth leader Lani Evans will be living for for $2.25/day for 10 days starting tomorrow as part of the international effort to raise awareness about extreme poverty.
Ms Evans is taking the challenge in advance of the national start date of September 24th in order to accommodate her busy work schedule. She is also taking the challenge for double the length of the normal 5 day challenge as a signal of her commitment to the cause.
The Wellington-based activist is an award winning ﬁlm-maker, animator and community worker.
She has been involved in a number of change-making organizations and steering groups, including Volunteer Otago, Kia Tutahi, the Inspiring Stories Trust, the Generosity Hub, the Port Chalmers Patch (community gardens), RAVE (Respect And Value Everyone), and the Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Program.
She currently runs ReGeneration, a national youth focused non-proﬁt organization that encourages 11,000 young people each year to make positive social, environmental, cultural and creative change (www.regeneration.org.nz and www.changemakers.org.nz).
“I’m really passionate about growing ideas around generosity, sustainability and active citizenship, and this challenge is a perfect way for me to put that passion into action,” said Ms Evans.
The Live Below the Line challenge is a symbolic act of empathy that gets ordinary kiwis to experience the hard choices of living at the level of extreme poverty for 5 days. The World Bank estimates that over 1.4 Billion people worldwide live for just NZ$2.25/day. The Live Below the Line campaign challenges seasoned activists, curious citizens and enthusiastic idealists to get a sense of what life is like in extreme poverty.
“I reckon it’s essential that we keep working towards connected, resilient communities here at home, but it’s also essential that we remember our connectedness to the rest of the world,” said Ms Evans. “Global poverty is real, and as global citizens there are plenty of things we can do about it.”
Ms Evans recognizes the limitations of the voluntary experience, but says that it does create a connection between her life and the suffering of others.
“I can’t really get my head around the idea that 1.4 Billion people live in extreme poverty – it’s too much for me to imagine,” said Ms Evans. “And that’s what this challenge is about: its an exercise in empathy to help me understand, if only a wee bit, what it might feel like to live in extreme poverty.”
The Live Below the Line Challenge runs from the 24th-28th of September. New Zealanders are invited to sign up at www.livebelowtheline.com/nz
Live Below the Line is coordinated by the Global Poverty Project. Since it began in 2009, over 25,000 people worldwide have taken the challenge and raised over US$4 Million to help fund projects in the developing world.
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