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A Diet? A Stunt? No. It's Live Below the Line.

A Diet? A Stunt? No. It's Live Below the Line.

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You might have seen it in the lunchroom at work, or heard about it on the radio – or maybe you knew someone last year who fed themselves on $2 a day for five days. It wasn’t a diet, or a stunt, or even a hard-core savings plan – it was a challenge called Live Below the Line.

Every May, we feed ourselves on $2 a day – the Australian equivalent of the extreme poverty line – to gain an insight into what life is like for people who live below the poverty line. We’re not at all replicating the experience of living in poverty – and we’re not trying to. We’re trying to understand what it’s like to live with limited choices – when, through no fault or choice of your own, your circumstances determine how your life pans out.

Live Below the Line raises funds and awareness for work that helps fight poverty. Every year, almost 10,000 participants raise over $1.5 million from friends and family members sponsoring them to take the challenge. The money they raise funds education initiatives in Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea, run by international partners who are helping young people in our region break out of the poverty cycle. Here in Australia, the money also funds Oaktree’s campaigning work, to enable young Australians to take action on issues that are important to them.

Why do our partners focus on education? It’s a good question.

Here at Oaktree, we know that education is a human right, and that it’s unjust for any person to be denied that right. Sometimes living in poverty means people can’t exercise that right – children who have to work to supplement their family’s income instead of going to school, for example. We’re fiercely committed to making sure every person can access their rights – and, in particular, we’ve chosen to work with education, because we know it has the potential to transform.

Education creates systemic, far-reaching change that dismantles the systems that keep people in poverty: by educating people, our partners are building a new generation of passionate, committed students who will change their own narratives and create new futures.

And we’re trying to do that here, too. We believe poverty is unjust and unacceptable, and it can and will be ended in our lifetimes. Live Below the Line is a powerful tool that enables thousands of Australians to take meaningful action on the issue of poverty – and enables us to do our part to end it forever.

Interested? We thought so. Click here to sign up for Live Below the Line in 2016.