Teach for Australia does Live Below the Line!

28 Apr 2017

This year, Teach for Australia has been a major supporter for Live Below the Line with its team raising $7,500 so far (and they haven’t even hit challenge week yet!) We decided to sit down with them and have a chat about why they think LBL is important!

Why did Teach for Australia decide to get involved with Line Below the Line?

First and foremost, the Live Below the Line campaign is a fantastic way to increase awareness around issues of poverty and educational inequality while doing something tangible and raising the funds to contribute overseas. Several of our Associates at Teach for Australia have previous work experience with Oaktree and the Live Below the Line campaign so creating a partnership where we could offer opportunities to join our program to the highly-accomplished LBL volunteers is a win-win.

What has be the biggest challenge or eye-opener during it so far?

Setting an initial goal of $5,200 was a big challenge but one we were confident we could meet. The eye opener was taking a step back, once we had a large team, and thinking, "OK. What would we raise if we each met our individual goals?" and summing those up, we're now looking at $11,000 (or more than double our initial goal).

Any highlights or great memories that you will take away with you?

Our team has grown to include 19 members across 5 states and territories including TFA Associates, Alumni, HQ staff and many friends offering support. A good friend was in Cambodia when she heard about what we were working to achieve and went to visit a school where the kids and her took a photo for us, with a sign saying "Good Luck Teach for Australia from Cambodia." It was pretty special to receive that support.

Has LBL changed the way you think about and approach issues surrounding poverty?

LBL is the perfect example that one shouldn't allow their inability to do everything to stop them doing something. Seeing that $52 can provide a 1-year scholarship for a student in a country like Cambodia blew us away! Even at the poverty line, $2/day x 365days/year = $730/yr, but by increasing that to just $730+$52=$782, a child can have the opportunity to go to school. I now look at every expense, meal, new piece of clothing and my metric for value is, "Is this worth more than a year of education?" If not, I don't buy it.

Why do you think it’s important for teachers to be engaged with issues surrounding poverty?

Teachers hold an influential position of leadership. Getting students engaged with campaigns like LBL helps them to become more aware of what's happening in countries they may have never heard of before and to question what is happening here at home. At the core of big challenges are big opportunities for impact so having students develop humility, empathy and respect while learning about selflessness and fundraising is a brilliant opportunity for development and hopefully will inspire them to work towards a career in social impact.

Imagine a day when every Australian child, thanks to teachers like those from TFA, is aware of their place in a global world.

Teach for Australia has done some pretty amazing work as part of Live Below the Line but they do some pretty incredible work as well with combatting education inequality within Australia! To learn more about them - check out their site here.

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