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Living below the line

15 May 2012

Living below the line Image

Australia has long been considered “the lucky country” and with good reason. Southbank resident Hugo Lamb is part of a group trying to highlight just how lucky we are.

He is the Victorian state director for youth group The Oaktree foundation, and during May the group had its major fundraiser – Living Below the Line.

The challenge was to live off $2 per day for a week during May, which represents an example of the extreme poverty many people around the world are forced to endure in their daily lives.

As with most good ideas, Hugo said Living Below the Line was the brainwave of a group of mates having a few beers. The foundation needed more money to provide education around Australia and lobby governments.

“We wanted to get governments to be accountable on the issue of extreme poverty. The fundraiser gives us a range of possibilities.”

He also pointed out that specifically this year’s Living Below the Line campaign would help the group’s education push into Papua New Guinea.

“The money from Living Below the Line goes to the support of education in Papua New Guinea. We’ve been developing a primary school in PNG since 2006 and are now are aiming at a secondary school.”

Hugo was one of the 7500 registered participants for the challenge and said it was a great struggle, but an equally rewarding experience.

“I knew the week was going to be tough, but I certainly didn’t expect myself to be so tired, to have such enduring headaches, to be so snappy at my friends and family, and to be so incapable of thinking clearly or logically,” Hugo said.

“For me, it made me appreciate so much more how good life is in Australia. While I was able to feed myself pretty well on soup, rice and bread, it was torturous to see what others could eat and what they were all eating around me,” he added.

Hugo also said there was still a chance for people to get involved and partake in living below the line themselves.

“I would love to share this experience with as many people as possible as I found it to be exciting, engaging and - at the end - invigorating.”

To find out more go to the website www.livebelowtheline.com/au

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