As foreshadowed, I'm writing this update on $2 a day. For me, that means oats for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch and either fried rice or chickpea curry for dinner ... 5 days in a row.
I'm half way through the challenge and already having a number of 'ah-ha' moments. Live Below the Line doesn't aim to show participants what it is like to live in extreme poverty, but it does aim to give us a small window of insight. For me - the greatest realisation is the wealth of opportunities we have, even in relation to the food we eat daily.
This concept of opportunities is one we're passionate about at Oaktree. Through the work of our partners, we seek to empower young people to pursue their goals and rise from the cycle of poverty. Take the story of Srey Na, a scholarship recipient from Oaktree's Girls Education Initiative (GEI) project, done in partnership with KAPE. When we initially met Srey Na when she was studying to be a primary school teacher, something she never dreamed was possible prior to receiving the scholarship. Her heart was heavy from events of the past and worries about the future.
In January, we met Srey Na again. This time, not as a scholarship recipient, but as a teacher of a scholarship student. Srey Na has achieved her goal and is now able to earn a stable income and bring her passion for education into the classroom. We had the privilege of watching her at work. She was engaging a classroom full of 8 year olds in Maths and continues to study outside of work.
Srey Na told our team that the first time she received her salary, she went pale and her hands shook, as she had never seen that much money before.
In supporting Oaktree, you're supporting people like Srey Na - empowering them to live out their dreams, and take opportunities that would otherwise not be available. The beauty of this, is that Srey Na is now providing opportunities for others.
As always, thank you for your support!