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This week marks the live below the line challenge. Members of our staff and refugee supporters will take the challenge this week, by eating on $1.50 a day for 5 whole days, to help raise funds and awareness about the 1.2 billion living below the poverty line (many of which are refugees).
A typical meal for refugees varies from country to country – but many of their meals are basic. Many also do not have the luxury of 3 meals a day and for things like coffee or soda. This week many of us will be eating rice and beans, ramen noodles, and basic vegetables.
Below are some updates from our staff and supporters. Check back this week for more updates!
The latest update from our Chair of the Board – Charles DeSantis
Last night I could not stay awake past 8:30pm. I was exhausted from not eating. It is devastating to think that 1.2 billion people live in poverty and so many are below the line living on 1.50 a day. The realization is that you stop functioning effectively; you are not able to listen as clearly as you would like or hope, you do not function fully and to think that I have the privilege of not working in a non physically strenuous position. What if I had to dig roads, or climb or run to do the work that I need to do, I would not be unable to function. Tonight I have a dinner that I could not get out of as I am the host and I will be drinking tap water while my colleagues eat meals. That is as torturous as not eating.
With Nepal and all its devastation, the rioting in Baltimore and the impacts of those not being able to go to school where some get two of their daily meals and those in the world that are below the line, I am silenced and humbled. In 2007 I visited Kenya and the Kibera slum where I found abject poverty and such hope. It changed how I viewed such things as clothing. When I used to have something that felt worn out or old, my perspective changed when I realized that some of the smart, beautiful and important children only had the clothes they were wearing or maybe one other change of clothes, and that they were always hungry, it changed how I death with purchasing clothing, etc. What a luxury to be able to decide what clothes you wear or discard. Just like how we deal with food. So much waste, when so many are in need. I will now look differently at food. It is precious and we should treat it this way. Eradicating poverty is not only necessary but should be a “Citizen of the World” imperative. With all the wealth in the world, no one should be that poor. With all the resources that we have that go to waste, no one should be hungry, with all that we have been given, I hope that we will all give back. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. It is a hard road and it is only 5 days for me. Think of those that this is a lifetime of living. This photo is the first child I met in Kenya, He changed my life.
Updates from Social Media
— Jen Patterson (@JenPatterson_DC) April 28, 2015