Live Below the Line

09 October 2012

Franky Maslin Sarah Patterson Ajay Ravindran
Franky Maslin Sarah Patterson Ajay Ravindran
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am 19 years old, attend the University of Otago studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and minoring in Communications. I graduated with first class honours in English literature from the University of Otago. I work at the Otago Museum, as a nanny and as a poet, I have been a member of UN Youth for 7 years and an Ambassador for the Global Poverty Project. I'm a 2nd year student at the University of Auckland, passions involve music, and helping to eradicate extreme poverty.
How long have you been an AYV member for? I've been an AYV member for just over a year. I have been an AYV member since 2011. I've been a AYV member for over a year now.
What motivated you to take part in this challenge? I was a Year of Youth Ambassador for UNICEF NZ September 2010-2011 so I wanted to take part in my on-going support of the organisation. I decided to take on this challenge at the start of the year. I thought it would be a brilliant way to practically experience a tiny element of the extreme poverty, to lead by example and to talk about these issues with my friends. I wanted to see how a change in my eating habits affects my daily life, and also try to raise funds for an amazing cause.
What was been the highlight of your involvement? The highlight was being part of a group called 1 Love. We are currently third on the leader board under the group section. The highlight was definitely the unexpected volume of positive discussion and feedback on my LBL effort. I really enjoyed making video logs to document my experience, and recording a song about Live Below the Line.
Can you tell us something about the organisation you are raising funds for? UNICEF NZ is a non-profit organisation promoting childrens' rights as well as women. They have done a lot of good work in the Pacific like providing safe drinking water to anywhere needed in the Pacific by deploying a mobile desalination unit. Global Poverty Project is probably best known for their 1.4 billion reasons presentation which inspires people worldwide to care and act against extreme poverty. Live Below the Line is an initiative that backs up the presentation. P3 Foundation is a youth run NGO that aims to empower youth to eradicate extreme poverty. P3 work with the Owen Glenn Family Foundation to support a village in the Kalimpong region of India, providing water access, sanitation, healthcare & education. Every dollar P3 raises is matched by the Glenn Family Foundation.
What was the biggest challenge for you while taking part? The biggest challenge was being surrounded by others eating or just being surrounded by food.   For example I went to the grocery store with my boyfriend and there was food everywhere that I just couldn't eat. I expected it to be hunger but in fact it turned out to be exhaustion a massive reduction in what I was able to achieve each day and with what level of enthusiasm. Biggest challenge would be the shopping! In hindsight, Pak n Save was probably not the best place to shop on such a tight budget.
What advice would you give to other young people wanting to do this in the future? You should definitely challenge yourself and see what it is like to live in poverty, even if it is only five days it opens your eyes. Do it! It's such an eye opening experience, for you and everyone around you. In terms of practical advice I really should have planned before I went shopping. It's an incredibly worthwhile experience; I got so much more out of it that I thought I would. Live Below the Line puts your life in perspective, and makes you consider things you might not have before.
What was your secret ingredient? I didn’t really have one. Soy sauce! I got it for only just over $1 and I would have been lost without it! I had the great idea of using one can of pasta sauce between 2 bags of pasta! Still tastes fine!
What was the best bargain item in your shopping? Definitely the rice! 1kg for $2.25. I really enjoyed the 2 carrots I could afford. Although it tasted horrible, oats were extremely cheap!
What do you hope to achieve by participating in Live Below The Line? Primarily I hope to receive my goal target of $500 to donate to UNICEF NZ, however anything helps and I guess it is important to raise awareness so people know about it and can help. I hope to raise awareness and to broaden people's minds to the issues surrounding extreme poverty that go beyond just physical hunger. I hope to raise awareness and funds for those living in extreme poverty. The truth is that there's over a billion people who have to live on less than $2.25 a day, for the rest of their lives.