Christian Aid chair, Rowan Williams has Lived Below the Line ahead of Christian Aid’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Christian Aid Week (11th to 17th May). He urges others to follow him by spending just £1 a day for five days on all food and drink. The money raised by sponsoring participants will help to eradicate extreme poverty globally.
Dr Williams took up the challenge to test himself and to show solidarity with the 1.2 billion people around the world who go to bed hungry every night.
‘I hope people will sign up to Live Below the Line because exploring this process of living on just £1 a day, sharing the experience of some of the most challenged people in the world, is really a way of discovering something about yourself and about the world we live in,’ he said.
The five days were tough for the former Archbishop of Canterbury, especially the planning of meals and trying to create a nutritionally balanced diet on so little money.
‘There’s not much variety. You have to rely heavily on cheap staples so eating becomes less of a pleasure and more about trying to nourish yourself which is very difficult on just £1. Getting the ideal five-a-day (let alone more recent recommendations of seven or ten) is more or less impossible’, he adds.
Although it was a challenge, Dr Williams did stress that he was fully aware he could stop at any time. ‘Every moment I was conscious I could walk away from this but what about all the people who can’t walk away?’
He encourages people to go to the website www.christianaid.org.uk/livebelowtheline to sign up before 30th June and to help raise money which will help those in desperate need. As well as help setting up your fundraising page, the site allows you to share your story and check out tips and recipe ideas.