Bollocks to poverty

Live Below The Line day #3: ‘hanger’ is kicking in

Oriana Lauria's picture Posted by Oriana LauriaYouth Digital Mobilisation Officer
 

Remember when I said I hadn’t bitten anyone yet? Well, those days might be over…

‘Hanger’, the lethal mix of hunger and anger, has finally kicked in on day three of my Live Below the Line challenge!

WARNING: If you're Living Below The Line, chances are you might be feeling 'hangry' at any point over your five days of challenge. Get ready for it; it’s just a matter of time. Here are the main causes and some top-notch tips to overcome the first signs of hanger.

Coffee withdrawal

If you, like me, are a bit of a coffee addict, a week without your morning dose of caffeine might prove harmful… for those around you. Try and go for tea instead? It’s cheaper and it can save your friends from your hanger strikes!

Lack of sugar

Irritability can be a symptom of low blood sugar, so make sure you have enough sugary snacks (like bananas or value biscuits) to get you going throughout the day without jumping down anyone’s throat!

That stodgy feeling…

On £1 a day you can stuff yourself with starchy food (rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, anyone?), but all the fresh fruit and veggies and the high quality protein come at a higher price, so chances are you’re going to feel a bit stuffed and tired and find yourself moving in ‘sloth-motion’. Don’t forget to include lots of pulses, some fruit and frozen veggies in your meal plan! For more shopping tips have a look at our infographic.

That’s it for today! Remember, you’ve still got time to sign up to Live Below the Line with ActionAid and help women and girls escape poverty. And every penny that you raise (or donate) will be doubled as part of our She CAN appeal!

She Can

GIFs from giphy.com

Live Below The Line day #2: food for thoughts

Oriana Lauria's picture Posted by Oriana LauriaYouth Digital Mobilisation Officer
 

I’m on my second day Below the Line and still haven’t bitten anyone. So far so good.

Below are some tips for your Live Below The Line week and some food for thoghts worth sharing.


Day #2 meals

 

  • Breakfast: 3 biscuits and tea
  • Mid-morning snack: 1 banana
  • Lunch: 100g rice and ¼ can of chick peas
  • Afternoon snack: 2 biscuits
  • Dinner: 80g rice, 100g split peas, mixed veg soup

Live Below the Line day 2

TIP 1: (The granny tip!) Make sure you get some sugary food to kick off your day

Live Below the Line day 2

TIP 2: use colour to spice up your lunch!

Live Below the Line day 2

TIP 3: who said you can’t play with food?

This all living on £1 a day is proving more of a mental than physical challenge. Having to constantly plan and make choices (and even changing the way you make those choices!) to stick to a ridiculous budget takes A LOT of energy.

This made me think; living below the poverty line (in the true sense of the term) doesn’t just mean being hungry, it means having less time, energies and opportunities to do what you want to do with your life and be who you want to be. I still wake up in a nice flat, drink clean free water, take the tube to work and sleep on a comfy bed.  However, if I had £1 to stretch to everything, not just food, well… things would be quite different.

Taking part in the Live Below The Line challenge doesn’t make you a hero or a crazy person (like some of my friends think!), but it’ll definitely make you think more than any article, report or video you’ll see about the daily challenges of getting enough to eat that so many people around the world face every day. And, most importantly, will make you part of the solution, helping people like Salma break the cycle of poverty.

Remember, you’ve still got time to sign up to Live Below the Line with ActionAid and help women and girlsescape poverty. And every penny that you raise (or donate) will be doubled as part of our She CAN appeal!

She Can
 

Live Below The Line day #1: May the carbs be with me!

Oriana Lauria's picture Posted by Oriana LauriaYouth Digital Mobilisation Officer
 

This week I’m eating and drinking on £1 a day, to get a small glimpse into the kinds of challenges that the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty face every day, and help make a difference by fundraising for ActionAid.

I’m going to blog about my experience, keeping you posted on my food cravings and mood swings, and hopefully sharing some good tips with those of you who’ll take the challenge next week.

My Live Below the Line adventure started yesterday, while my family back home kept whatsapping me pictures of their Easter Monday feast. Nice of them, wasn't it!

Desserts

But my challenge really started a week ago, when I planned my shopping list and headed down to the supermarket, armed with my precious fiver and a lot of hope.

Live Below the Line shopping list

After one hour and a good dose of swearing at myself, I managed to find only half of the items in my shopping list and realised I needed to put a bit more effort than expected into my food search. But the weirdest thing was, for the first time in my life I was conscious of what people might think after seeing me wandering around for ages with four items in my trolley.

TIP: plan ahead for possible alternatives and don’t leave your Live Below The Line shopping to the last minute!

While the quest for the value frozen veggies is still ongoing, here’s what my total food for the week looks like:

  • 9 bananas, £1,39
  • 1 Kg rice, 40p
  • 400 baked beans, 25p
  • 400 chick peas, 39p
  • 500 split peas, 55p
  • 1Kg frozen mixed veggies, 75p
  • 40 tea bags, 20p
  • Rich tea biscuits, 25p

Total spent: £4.18

Money left: 82p – any creative suggestions on how to spend this? Do let me know!

Day #1

 

  • Breakfast: 1 banana
  • Mid-morning snack: 1 banana
  • Lunch: 100g rice and ½ can of baked beans
  • Dinner: 80g rice and ½ can of chick peas

And here's my first meal Below The Line… Not the usual Easter Monday treat, but definitely more than some people truly living below the poverty line can afford.

Live Below the Line day 1

TIP: use the tomato sauce or salted water from your cans of pulses to add extra flavour to your plain rice!

Live Below the Line day 1

TIP: trick your eyes with a smaller plate and some basic ‘food design’

That’s it for day #1. Remember, you can still sign up for Live Below the Line with ActionAid to help women and girls break the cycle of poverty. And here’s the best bit  ̶  every penny that you raise (or donate) will be doubled as part of our She CAN appeal.

She Can

Web pick of the week: 2 videos that make you see things in a completely new way

Corinne Cumming's picture Posted by Corinne CummingYouth Social Media volunteer
 

Need an inspirational lift? We’ve got just the thing.

Check out these videos. They cover very different topics, but both of them put you in someone else’s shoes in a really clever way…

1. Director of Operations

So say you’re a graduate and you see an advert for a ‘Director of Operations’, you would totally go for it right? You log on for your Skype interview to find that the job requirements are nothing short of brutal, what do you do?

You need to stick around till the end of this short video because the twist really brings you to tears… I know I definitely had some phone calls to make after this one!

2. The world as I see it

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a homeless person is like? Homelessgopro.com strapped a GoPro (small video camera) to a man called Adam to follow his day around San Francisco. He narrates over the film explaining how the lack of interaction affects him, but the film also shows how people help, and how at the end of the day, we are all human.

 

Want more like this?

 

How to send someone a message they can’t ignore

Over the past few months we’ve been asking Barclays to clean up it's act on tax havens.

With your help we’ve bombarded their inbox, hammered their Facebook page and even got MPs campaigning to #CleanUpBarclays.

Thanks to you Barclays has started to listen and arranged meetings with us to talk about the problem. But we don’t just want to chat, we them to take action.

So what do you do if you keep telling someone that they’re being out of order, and they listen and nod and say all the right things, but carry on doing it? You put your message on a giant billboard van and drive it in front of their face of course!

Barclays billboard

Next week Barclays will be hosting their annual general meeting in London. The CEO, Antony Jenkins, will be there, as will their Board members and all their shareholders.

So to really ramp up the pressure we want to drive a giant billboard to the Royal Festival Hall where Barclays is holding the AGM, with a picture of Antony chillin’ on a tax haven island where loads of companies have stashed their cash.

But billboards don't come cheap, so we're asking people to donate towards the cost. Please spread the word and help us embarrass Barclays into action!

Forget Easter eggs; it’s all about chickens

Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, but Easter eggs lost their magic when I grew up and realised there was no Easter Bunny and it was actually my dad hiding the eggs in the garden.

Plus they’re always a bit of a let-down, let’s be honest. A lot of fancy packaging over a thin bit of chocolate, which – if you’re lucky – has a small plastic bag with a few sweets inside.

That’s why this year I’ve asked the Easter Bunny (*cough cough* dad) to get me a chicken instead.

And I don’t mean the roasted variety. For the price of a fancy egg, you can help fund a chicken-breeding programme for a family struggling to feed themselves, so they have nutritious eggs to eat, or to sell at market to earn much needed money.

MercyMercy, 8, from Malawi, with one of her chickens.

It’s win win. You get a chicken – without needing a garden – plus you get a warm fuzzy feeling from helping a family who don’t know where the next meal is coming from, never mind chocolate eggs. And let’s face it; you’ll probably still get a chocolate Easter egg from one of your other mates anyway…
 

 

 

Photo: James Oatway/Panos/ActionAid