Published on 28th August 2013
Dunedin woman Lani Evans is setting herself a big challenge – she will spend the whole of September feeding herself on just $2.25 a day to raise money for VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad).
Ms Evans is one of thousands of people who have signed up for Live Below the Line, an annual fundraising event in which participants feed themselves on $2.25 a day – the equivalent of the extreme poverty line – for five days. VSA is one of eight partners supporting Live Below the Line 2013, which runs from September 23 to 27.
But rather than taking the Live Below the Line challenge for five days Ms Evans is doing it for 30 days – which means she’ll have a total of $67.50 to spend on food during September.
She has already started buying her food, and has calculated that she will be able to live on 166g of rice, 80g of legumes and two potatoes or a serving of soba noodles each day, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables she will buy during the course of the month.
She is now enjoying her last few days of normal eating before starting her new regime on Sunday, September 1.
This is the third year Ms Evans has taken part in Live Below the Line. The first year she did it for the usual five days, and last year she increased that to 10 days. She’s not looking forward to going without coffee for a month, but she decided to challenge herself to 30 days of living below the line to give herself a better perspective on consumption.
“I’m interested in looking at ideas about what we want versus what we need.”
It’s also a chance to raise more money for VSA, which will use the money it raises from Live Below the Line to help VSA volunteers support projects that give women and young people choice about their own reproductive and maternal health in the wider Pacific, and reduce the rate of violence against women in parts of the Pacific.
“I really like the fact that VSA sends New Zealander volunteers to help achieve tangible results – I used to run a volunteer centre in Dunedin, and I really like the concept of volunteering as a way of making a difference to people’s lives.”