THE BLOG

A Shared Experience -- Could You Live On $1.50 a Day?

Mar 21, 2014 | Updated May 21, 2014

I yawn every time I see someone else yawning; I cannot help but laugh when I hear someone else laughing. Have you ever been in a room in which someone is incredibly sad and that sadness generates a gloom? It's pervasive. This intersubjectivity, this shared energy among us as human beings is incredibly powerful and real and connects us with strangers.

But just how far does it extend?

Across the world, more than 1 billion people live on less than a $1.50 a day. That's right, one dollar and fifty cents -- not simply for food, but for transportation, housing, medicine and more. These are people that are far away and face challenges that seem insurmountable. However, the great lesson from my travels has always been that people, everywhere, are all the same. We laugh about similar jokes, we gossip with our friends, we share the same emotional ties with our loved ones, we hold the same connectivity that makes us laugh and makes us cry, together.

At The Global Poverty Project, we run a campaign that allows us to demonstrate solidarity and build understanding with those so far away, yet so close, as we are connected by our very being.

The Live Below the Line campaign is a challenge to eat and drink on just $1.50 per day for one -- five days to understand the lack of choice and opportunity faced by the 1.2 billion people who live in this cycle of extreme poverty.

Imagine having to choose between a .30 cent vaccine and a bowl of rice. What would you do: eat, or save your child? That may sound extreme, but it's a reality. And this reality requires that we, as a global community, come together to help our fellow citizens out of this injustice.

In the past three years, I -- along with 50,000 others -- have participated in the challenge, and have helped raise $10 million for charity partners, who this year include The Global One Foundation, Heifer International, The Hunger Project, Kiva, Opportunity International and World Food Program USA, that are doing incredible work on the ground to end extreme poverty.

It's not an easy week, and I will certainly struggle at times. I realize I will never understand what it means to live in extreme poverty, but through Live Below the Line, I get a brief glimpse into the challenges that 1.2 billion people face daily. I can use this as an opportunity to draw attention to this issue with my friends, colleagues and family. I can use this as an opportunity to raise money and make an impact.

What does $1.50 mean to you? To more than a billion people, it means a life, food, medicine, a roof over their head.

This year from April 28 to May 2, you can join the movement to end extreme poverty by participating in Live Below the Line. The days of sitting back as over one billion people spend their days hungry, without access to health care, education, or sanitation, are over.

A movement is underway and thousands of people, including celebrities, politicians, health workers, businessmen, and every-day caring global citizens. Let Live Below the Line be an experience you go through with your colleagues, friends, and classmates. Use the campaign to connect with each other and use it to process the lack of choice and opportunity faced by people living in extreme poverty.

I challenge you to talk about extreme poverty and talk about the incredible work of the campaign's charity partners.

I challenge you to take part in Live Below the Line in solidarity with thousands all over the world.