Apr 30, 2014 KV Kiva HQ
By Julie Campbell
Kivans Experience Living Below the Line
Somedays 3:00 pm hits and I feel like a physical wall has dropped down on me; eager to get my blood sugar back up I head to Kiva's kitchen and grab a nutrition bar to help get me through the rest of the day, but not this week
 
This week, a team of Kivans and myself are participating in Live Below the Line (LBL), an annual event where participants live on $1.50 for food and drink each day for five days to raise awareness for extreme poverty. With 1.2 billion people still living below the global poverty line it's an important issue to raise and one I'm proud to be a part of. Kiva is an LBL partner, meaning you can raise donations for Kiva by taking the LBL challenge. 
 
It's now Day 3 and we're going strong, here are some highlights from our week:

Jacob's penny perfect shopping trip, spending $7.50 on the dot at the grocery store.


Radhika and Claire show off what one week of food for $7.50 looks like to them.


That doesn’t look so bad!


There have been some bumps along the way being restricted to such limited resources.  Planning is important, but accidents still happen. Catherine struggled on Day 2:
 
“This morning, when pouring out the juice from my canned veggies, I accidentally poured the whole can down the drain. I thought about buying a new one but realized that's not how it works for people actually living below the line. It was a big reminder that my mind just immediately goes to spending money to fix my problems. Yikes! That was an eye opener.”
 
 
When you can only eat $1.50 per day, it dramatically changes the way you think about food or your day. You are hungry more often and more quickly, but you have no choice but to wait to eat. I feel as if my brain function has started to decrease throughout the day as I get hungrier and hungrier. I have to ask people to repeat things, especially when I’m tired after a long day. 
 
When you can’t eat whatever and whenever you want, large parts of your day are spent thinking about your next meal. On the other hand, I feel healthier having cut out processed foods, meat  and sugar. At bedtime I’m actually tired and fall asleep instantly. 
 
We're over halfway done with LBL and it’s been a tremendous experience thus far. It’s impossible to replicate how others struggle, but this event makes some of the challenges people face each day more tangible and helps light a fire in people to demand change.
 
You can still join in Live Below the Line, visit Kiva’s page and sign up to challenge yourself to help end extreme poverty.


 

Comments

Love what you're doing Julie. Great reminder on how lucky we are.

I find it a bit weird to directly translate the use of resources from rural somewhere in the third world to urban US. Maybe you should find a few housewifes in rural somewhere, hand them the 1.50 per day for a weeks provisions and ask them what they would buy and get for that amount of money in their market. It's not going to be a grocery store with US prices either. Than take a picture and compare the amount of food/calories that money buys in different places.

I find it a bit weird to directly translate the use of resources from rural somewhere in the third world to urban US. Maybe you should find a few housewifes in rural somewhere, hand them the 1.50 per day for a weeks provisions and ask them what they would buy and get for that amount of money in their market. It's not going to be a grocery store with US prices either. Than take a picture and compare the amount of food/calories that money buys in different places.

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Julie Campbell is Kiva’s Development Coordinator, where she ensures the smooth functioning and continual improvement of Kiva’s development team. She also maintains and tracks donor records and helps in the administration of Kiva’s Donor Advised Fund along with other development projects. She graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. She spent a semester abroad in Kenya and Tanzania where she witnessed first hand the success of micro-finance. Since graduation she has worked for a non-profit, a start-up and a for-profit company. Her love of nature comes from growing up in the Bay Area where she likes to go hiking and try other outdoor activities. Outside of Kiva, Julie enjoys spending her time exploring San Francisco, reading, and trying new things. She dreams of traveling all over the world and is excited to join Kiva.

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