Hugh Jackman is perhaps best known for his role as Wolverine in Marvel’s X-Men series. Outside of acting, though, the Australian actor is also well-known for his efforts as a great humanitarian. His involvement with the Global Poverty Project and various other charity programs, ranging from AIDS prevention to Children’s Hospitals, show that is he is someone who uses his status to bring awareness to the various problems in our society and help those in need.

Global Poverty Project is an organization that combats extreme poverty through various campaigns of awareness and government action.  One of their campaigns is 1.4 Billion Reasons—one for each person living in extreme poverty all over the world (extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.25/day). The campaign is one of awareness: the presentation introduces the viewers to the persistence of poverty, and the many possible solutions to it.

Hugh Jackman is associated with another campaign of the Global Poverty Project: Live Below the Line. For five days, the participants of this campaign live below the poverty line, spending only $1.25 a day on food. This takes a great deal of commitment and helps to develop sympathy for those for whom this is an everyday reality.

In addition to supporting such campaigns, Hugh Jackman also recently did some fundraising for charity. He charged all the guests to attend his birthday party, and after performing a musical number, dancing, and telling stories the whole night, sent all the proceeds to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which gives services such as healthcare to those who work in and have retired from the entertainment industry.

Clearly, Hugh Jackman understands the importance of helping those both near and far—those with whom he works, and those who he will probably never meet in his life. He brings awareness to serious issues and is a great role model to people everywhere. He feels the need to help those all over the world, and that shows he’s a true humanitarian.

– Aalekhya Malladi

Sources: Newsday, Look to the Stars
Photo: Zimbio

Live Below the Line
The Global Poverty Project challenges people around the world to change their perspective on global poverty by signing up to live on £1 per day for five days.

The Live Below the Line campaign began in Australia in 2010 when anti-poverty campaigner Richard Fleming lived for three weeks on the amount the World Bank defined as the extreme poverty line—the equivalent of U.S. $1.25 per day.

The campaign made its way to the U.K. in 2011, where it raised over £100,000 in its first year.  Live Below the Line has proven to be a powerful advocacy tool in addition to a fundraiser, as it forces participants to consider the real implications of living in impoverished conditions.

In 2013, over 6,000 people stepped up to the challenge of living on less than one Euro per day. This is good news, because the campaign’s managers have pointed out that getting people directly engaged in the campaign makes them more likely to continue campaigning or to take action in the future.

Beyond individuals, charities can also sign up to participate in the Live Below the Line challenge. In 2013, partners ranged from large organizations, like Save the Children, to smaller ones, like Positive Women, a group that aims to empower African women.

The Global Poverty Project is the same organization that launched the Global Citizens Music Festival, the End of Polio Campaign, and 1.4 Billion Reasons. The organization has worked tirelessly towards its vision of “a world without extreme poverty within a generation.”

By working to increase active participation along with general awareness, the Global Poverty Project shows its commitment to making a viable, positive difference in the fight against global poverty.

– Alexandra Bruschi

Source: Third Sector, Global Poverty Project
Photo: Style Quotidien

Students Experience Poverty to Raise Awareness
College students in Melbourne, Australia recognize the need to address the global issue of extreme poverty. They went about raising awareness in a unique way. Pairing up with the Live Below the Line Campaign, students immersed themselves in the struggle, feeding themselves on two dollars a day for five days.

Hoping to experience extreme poverty first hand, students created personal budget plans for their week below the poverty line. They purchased fruit, vegetables, lentil, pasta, and rice with their budget. Some students pooled their money together to help buy items in bulk.

University of Melbourne Professor Rob Moodie found the Live Below the Line campaign was a great opportunity for students to connect to the issue of global poverty on a personal level. “Life in Australia for the average university student is incredibly different for someone living on less than two dollars a day, and any learning we can do is beneficial,” Moodie said.

So what were the results of the student’s hardships? National awareness and significant donations. Overall, the University of Melbourne raised over $24,000 for world hunger, the most in Australia

The Live Below the Line Campaign takes place annually from May 6th to May 10th in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Australia has raised over 2 million dollars with the cause. For more information, visit

– William Norris

Source: The Age,Live Below the Line
Photo: Bromford Group

Live Below the Poverty Line

Recently, students at the University of Melbourne in Australia spent five days on less than two Australian dollars a day in order to raise awareness for those living in extreme poverty.

Students participated in this as part of the Live Below the Line challenge, a program of the Global Poverty Project.  The Global Poverty Project is in organization designed to advocate for the world’s poor and get citizens effectively engaged in the fight to end extreme poverty.  Their Live Below the Line Challenge, which spans three continents, asks participants to spend five days living below the poverty line in an effort to show solidarity with the world’s poor and to raise money and awareness for their cause.

The challenge of the Live Below the Line campaign is effectively budgeting resources so that participants have the food to last themselves 5 days.  Participants are not allowed to take snacks from their pantries or consume anything that had been bought before the challenge unless it was factored into their five day budget.  Their diet consisted mainly of pasta, lentils, fruit, and rice for the duration of the challenge, and they were only allowed to drink tap water.

The students at the University of Melbourne raised over $24,000, which is more than any other Australian university.  The closest American university to raising this amount was the University of Notre Dame, raising only $3,239.  Some celebrities are also involved in the Live Below the Line challenge, ranging from Ben Affleck to Hugh Jackman.

This was an impressive achievement for these Australian students.  However, as hard as it seems to buy food on such a low budget, participants still had it better off than the world’s poor.  They had access to shelter, sanitation, and healthcare—things that most of those living below the poverty line do not have.   It is hard for us in the developed world to imagine the amount of hardship faced by the world’s poor, but the Live Below the Line challenge gives a small peek into the lives of the least fortunate.

Citizens interested in the program should go to where there are further descriptions of the program, recipes and other helpful resources.  The website also contains leaderboards so that participants can see what individuals or groups have achieved the most fundraising so far.  The question that the challenge poses to all of us in the developing world is obvious:  Can YOU Live Below the Line?

– Martin Drake

Source: Live Below the Line, The Age
Photo: VSO

Australia: Foreign Aid Done Right
Of course, it’s important to focus on foreign aid efforts within America, but what about the importance of the efforts of other countries around the world? By observing these actions and their results, it’s possible to learn something about how different types of foreign aid have different effects on international societies and global poverty.

Australia has gained a lot of attention in the media lately, boasting a “good review” on its recent foreign aid policies. Although the country had been committed to boosting aid to .5% of GDP -around $8 billion, or almost 2x as much as US foreign aid relative to GDP – by 2015/2016, the government delayed the plan, setting the goal back to 2017. The review of the program praises its efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness, “making particular reference to Australia’s sound strategic policies, delivery of strong results and dedicated commitment to transparency.”

Even surpassing foreign aid, the country is bringing issues of extreme poverty to light, as thousands volunteered to live for five days by feeding themselves on $2.00 a day. This effort, named “Live Below the Line”, highlights the harshness of extreme poverty and encourages those that participate to raise money for those who live with poverty every day, not just five days of the year.

Australia presents a good example for countries that are looking to revamp their foreign aid processes. The Live Below the Line movement itself also poses a question to not only governments but to everyday citizens to hear the call to action against global poverty and hunger. Using these efforts as examples, it is possible and necessary for all of us to take steps in the same direction.

– Sarah Rybak

Sources: Business Spectator, Nine News, Sydney Morning Herald
Photo: Guyem

Living Below the Line: Attempting to Understand
In an effort to help people understand what it means to live below the line of poverty, the Global Poverty Project organizes an annual campaign to raise funds and awareness for the 1.4 million people living in poverty around the globe. While the campaign strives to gain funding, it is also dedicated to helping people understand what a life of poverty means. Participants live for five days on the equivalent of about $1.50 USD. Since the beginning of this year, 20,000 individuals have taken the challenge alongside the GPP and a dozen partnered nonprofit organizations across three continents. This year the campaign took place from April 29 to May 3 in Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and The United States. However, the GPP is taking donations till May 31 and the challenge is open to anyone that wants to do it year-round.

In the United Kingdom, living below the line means living on £1 for five days. One couple, Jenna and Stuart Wills, fine dining enthusiasts, share their experience on living below the line. In a country where one pound, approximately $1.50 USD, doesn’t even buy a bus ticket, a sandwich, or elderberry cordial, the couple knew it was going to be rough.

At the beginning of the week, the couple decided to buy the cheapest staple foods they could find, rice and noodles but realized that they had spent more than half of their five days budget. Consequently, it was difficult to spread the remainder of the budget over the rest of the week. The organic, fair-trade and costly foods that the Wills’ usually dined on were set aside and bargain buys that weren’t quite as delectable were their only alternative. The couple learned to plan grocery-shopping trips to stores and markets close to closing time in order to buy foods that were to expire soon and slashed in price. As the days wore on, lack of luxury food items as simple as coffee took a toll on the couple in high tempers and mood swings.

While the challenge was difficult at times, the couple admits that what they endured for five days is nothing compared to true poverty. They recognize that they have never once wondered when they would eat next, they bragged about their bargain finds on Facebook, and went about their daily lives. Whenever they felt a bit hungry, they had the option to put another piece of bread in the toaster. The couple raised £435 for their chosen charity, Oxfam, and have taken the challenge as an opportunity to appreciate what they have and spread the word about extreme poverty around the world.

– Kira Maixner

Source Birmingham Mail, Live Below the Line US
Photo MSN Food UK

Academy Award winner actor Ben Affleck is taking part in the Living Below the Line challenge. Next week, he will be living on just 1 dollar and 50 cents a day. The challenge requires participants to bid farewell to their comfortable and stable lives for 5 days to experience poverty on a personal scale. Living Below the Line was “cofounded in 2009 by Rich Fleming from the Global Poverty Project and Nick Allardice from the Oaktree Foundation in Australia.”

The U.S. Country Director of the Global Poverty Project, Michael Trainer, said that last year approximately 15,000 people were part of this Living Below the Line challenge and more than 3 million dollars were raised. According to the Yahoo report, Ben Affleck’s participation will build awareness and raise funds for the Global Poverty Project. The Project’s main emphasis is to get people to recognize their potential effectiveness by coming together and fighting to end global poverty. Next week anyone can be, and everyone should be, in solidarity with the poor with this humbling poverty experience.

Leen Abdallah
Source: Examiner

Challenge: Live Below the Line for 5 daysCould you live on $1.50 a day?  This is the question Live Below the Line asks of participants.  Live Below the Line is an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that is seeking to change the realities of extreme poverty.  1.4 billion people worldwide currently survive on less than $2 per day.  Causes like Live Below the Line are working hard to change that number by raising awareness, funds, and encouraging individuals to take the challenge.

Individuals are challenged to feed themselves for five days on $1.50 per day to stand in solidarity with those around the world who live in extreme poverty.   The number of $1.50 was chosen because it is the current equivalent to define those living in extreme poverty as set by the World Bank.  And while some argue $1.50 goes farther in developing countries, that number also includes those living in extreme poverty in developed nations such as the US.  For those in extreme poverty, $1.50 goes towards more than just-food. It funds housing, health, education, food, transport, and all other household expenses.

Live Below the Line partners with several organizations fighting global poverty on the ground and encourages participants who take the challenge to raise funds for one of those organizations during the 5-day experience.  It is an initiative out of the Global Poverty Project which educates and activates citizens to become engaged in the movement to end extreme poverty.

The 2013 challenge runs from April 29th to May 3rd.  Individuals are allowed a total of $7.50 to feed themselves for five days. Groups can get together to purchase food for the week, but they must ensure their daily meals still only equal $1.50.  To find out more, check out the website Live Below the Line.

– Amanda Kloeppel

Source: Live Below the Line

More than one billion people throughout the world live on $1 a day. This April, a unique Global Poverty Project is taking place: the Live Below the Line campaign. With 1.3 billion people in extreme poverty, there is an absolute need for more efforts to address such injustice, efforts that are more unique and more grounded than the typical charity drives and donations, and that is exactly what Below the Line is doing.

Justine Lucas expresses her appreciation to the fact that she was born where she was and not anywhere else where she would have been exposed to extreme poverty.

“Matters of justice require action, voices, and the community,” Justine says while trying to make people realize that there’s a higher need for them to form communities and become more of a movement. And indeed, now there are people who want to be more engaged; they are volunteering, sharing educational links on their social networks, signing petitions and calling their congressional leaders. Participating is open to anyone, regardless of location, age, and economic status.

As a part of this growing movement and a higher level of commitment and unique engagement, Live Below the Line is a chance to experience first-hand extreme poverty through undergoing food challenges, or shortages, for 5 days. To be more specific, each participant is limited to 1.50 dollar for 5 straight days.

Justine Lucas says that one may gain a new insight into oneself, “a more tangible understanding of what that lack of choice and opportunity really means,” and to be able to experience poverty personally by seeing it in our own society. Join the movement in solidarity with the poor right here, Live Below the Line.

Leen Abdallah
Source: Take Part

Celebrity Chefs Participate in Live Below the Line CampaignThe Australian-based Live Below the Line campaign, sponsored by the Global Poverty Project, is slated to begin its 2013 campaign this April. The campaign, which challenges people worldwide to live on just $1.50 per day for five days, was started in 2009 by Australian Richard Fleming, in an attempt to raise awareness and to fundraise for some 1.4 billion people around the world who live in extreme poverty. Now in its third year, Live Below the Line raised $2 million last year for global poverty.

This year, many of the UK’s most well-known chefs are taking part in the challenge to create meals for $1.50, which is the accepted global figure that defines extreme poverty. Award-winning chef Kevin Tew said, “It really makes you think about waste, you have to make things as simple as possible while making sure you get the right balance.”

Other celebrity chefs, including Gordon Ramsey, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Bill Granger and Jean-Christophe Novelli will participate in the campaign and create recipes that will maximize the little amount of food allotted in five days’ time.

Since people find $1.50 is usually not enough money to purchase meat, the chefs will come up with other recipes using cost-effective staples such as rice, oats, beans, and a few vegetables. Besides raising awareness for global poverty and food insecurity, Live Below the Line also hopes to create changes in participant’s everyday lives after completing the 5-day challenge.

The campaign also has other famous supporters, such as actor Hugh Jackman, and this year will be operating in the UK, the United States, Australia, with over 20,000 participants expected.

Christina Kindlon

Source: 4 News