Living below the line
4 May 2012
Between 6–10 May, Alexandra Weldon, Advocacy and Relations Manager (Public Health) at the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), has taken on the challenge to live off just £1 per day for food, reflecting the experiences of the 1.4 billion people currently living in extreme poverty around the world. Alix explains why she is taking part in the annual Live Below the Line fundraising initiative.
“One of SCI’s dedicated supporters, a student at the University of Liverpool called Aled Roberts, took part in the initiative last year and contacted us to let us know what he was doing. I had never heard of Live Below the Line, which was in its second year in 2011, but thought the idea was simple and brilliant, and offered an incredible opportunity for the SCI to increase its reach and educate people about the relationship between extreme poverty and neglected tropical diseases. These diseases cause malnutrition and stunted growth, prevent children from going to school and parents from going to work, thereby taking away any chance families have of lifting themselves out of poverty. Aled said the worst thing about the challenge was the boredom and it was months before he could face eating boiled rice again, but my greatest fear is five days with no caffeine! So far, the SCI’s Director, Professor Alan Fenwick, Dr Michael French (Public Health) and I have signed up to participate, as well as a number of students including Imperial College Union President, Scott Heath. Anyone interested in joining the challenge (you can do it anytime up to 30 June when the website will cease to accept donations), feel free to drop me a line.