Andrew survives on £1 a day

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LIVING ‘below the line’ for five days was an experience that Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament Andrew McGowan won’t forget in a hurry.

Andrew, an Eyemouth High School pupil, is MSYP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, agreed to take part in ‘Live Below the Line’ to highlight awareness of global poverty. His five day experience, from May 2 to May 6, raised over £400 for Global Poverty Project’ and proved a real challenge for him to survive on the £1 which was to buy all his food and drink for the day.

Speaking to The Berwickshire News on his fifth day of living on £1 a day Andrew said: “I started the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge on Monday in high spirits and confident that it wouldn’t be too difficult.

“As days passed I began to realise how hard it was to live off £1 a day.

“Throughout the week the challenge became progressively harder, I was shocked to realise how much Irn Bru and snacks I was buying before the challenge.

“I thought more about how fortunate we people living in Scotland are in comparison to the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty.

“To live off £1 a day for food and drink for a week was difficult for me, however there are over a thousand million people in the world that struggle each and every day of their lives to live off £1 to pay all other living costs as well as food and drink.

“My small sacrifice of my normal diet for one week has raised a lot of money for the Global Poverty project to go to help eradicate polio, ensure a fair price for workers, expose and tackle corruption and to be spent on many other anti-poverty initiatives.

“There were several occassions when I was tempted to eat a little bit more or have a sneaky drink of juice but thankfully I never, a lot of people have sponsored me and I didn’t want to let them down.

“The amount of support and contributions that has come from Eyemouth High School’s pupils and teachers as well as family and friends has been extraordinary. I cannot thank them enough.

“Being one of the top contributors to The Global Poverty Project in this ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge I was invited to the House of Lords last Wednesday for a presentation and a 40p meal. However I could not attend as final exams are coming up very fast.

“There are thousands of people who have taken up the challenge to live off £1 a day, I’m joined by the Prime Minister - David Cameron, former First Minister of Scotland - Lord Jack McConnell, Hugh Jackman, Joe Swash and Boris Johnston who have all taken part in Live Below the Line.

By day three Andrew had raised £400 and all proceeds will go to poverty reduction initiatives to help the 1.4 billion people in the world who are living in extreme poverty.The amount raised will be donated to the Global Poverty Project -

The Global Poverty Project aims to force through systemic changes to end extreme poverty. The three strands of their campaign include exposing and tackling corruption, eradicating polio and fighting disease, and ensuring a fair price for workers everywhere.

They are tackling corruption by ensuring that companies and Governments that are complicit in corrupt practices are called to account for their actions, and supporting the introduction of regulations that help protect against corruption.

The UK needs to take a leading role in eradicating polio and fighting disease and is being pressed to do so by funding vaccinations in countries where polio and other diseases continue to take lives and cause life-long disabilities.

The third strand of their campaign is to educate the UK public about how their purchasing decisions can impact on developing communities by making sure they have the funds they need to invest in local health and education projects.

The Global Poverty Project is also working to ensure that those in developing communities have the opportunity they deserve to make a decent wage for their work, escape preventable disease, and realise the benefit of their endeavours.

Each year the Global Poverty Project provides tens of thousands of people with the knowledge and resources they need to become agents for change within their communities.

The Global Poverty Project is building a community of informed anti-poverty advocates from all walks of life, from the world of politics to the world of showbusiness, who are willing and able to see an end to extreme poverty, within our lifetime.

Money raised by supporters during ‘Live Below the Line’ will allow the Global Poverty Project to expand their education and advocacy work, and empower thousands of people around the UK, just like Andrew, with the knowledge they need to become ambassadors for change within their communities.