1.2 Billion People, 1.2 Billion Reasons (Day 4: Live Below The Line)


“The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”

– Albert Einstein

As of 2010, the world had 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty – which is 20.63% of the world’s population.

While that figure seems enormous, it’s actually good news. The numbers released by World Bank indicate that there has been a roughly 200 million person fall since 2005. This has been driven by effective aid, increased trade from the world’s poorest countries, and improvements in governance and transparency. The world has succeeded on the headline goal in the Millennium Development Goals of halving extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015. In 1990, 41% of the world lived in extreme poverty.

These projects and campaigns are making a huge difference.

But the work isn’t over yet. There are still those 1.2 billion people. 1.2 billion reasons to keep fighting.

It’s going to take a generation’s work from all of us to create this world without extreme poverty. 



Day 4 of Live Below The Line looked a bit like this:

Breakfast: toast and jam = 6p
Lunch: Veggie burgers(14p) on two slices of bread (4p) = 18p
Dinner: Rice (7p), tikka sauce (10p), vegetables (28p), sausages (14p) = 59p

83p altogether

Something I’ve found particularly hard this year is the mid-afternoon sugar slump. The time of day when I find myself getting a headache, unable to focus on my screen at work, and not being able to stay on track because all I can think about it how much I want a little snack. I’d normally be reaching for some fruit at this point, but fruit was out of my budget this year. As was any real kind of ‘snack’ thing. Instead I have been having a larger meal in the evening, and stretching it as far as possible!

My other task this week was to see if, while living below the line, I could maintain the same level of activity as I am used to. Over the past year I have become a lot more health conscious, fitter and more active. I’ve slimmed a dress size through simply keeping an eye on what I eat, and by going to the gym regularly. My general health and wellbeing is at the best it has been in a long time and I feel great for it.

But how would Live Below The Line affect that?


I went to the gym on Sunday on Day 1 of my challenge and, while feeling fairly tired after my workout, I still managed to do my full cardio and strength routine. Needless to say – today was different. Before I even got to the gym, I’d had an attack of ‘Below The Line Brain’ and realised I’d forgotten some gym essentials (deodorant and a hair bobble!). After righting this wrong, I settled into my warm up on the bike, but I was tired. So very tired. My body was not up for the endorphin rush that I usually thrive on…..instead my legs felt like lead, and I knew that today’s gym session was going to be a slow one. I persevered but stayed away from any strength training or high-impact cardio work. My body told me to keep it simple!

We’ve already noted that keeping healthy while below the line can be a challenge. Never mind the fact that a gym membership would, of course, be out of the realms of possibility for anyone surviving on £1 per day – even mustering up enough energy to keep active in any way due to cheap carb-filled diets and lack of other important nutrients, would be a huge challenge. The emotional and mental toll is enormous and it’s easy to see how someone can become stuck in an cycle due to the circumstance they have found themselves in. How on earth can someone maintain their health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally, while surviving on £1 a day? 


Today I reached £200 in my fundraising. All money I raise goes to UNICEF and their vital projects tackling poverty around the world.

If you would like to donate, please, please do:


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