Ready to go without

00:13, Sep 21 2012
Helping out: Women at Share and Care in Nepal will benefit from the couple’s fundraising efforts.

Alan and Emily Worman are hungry for change.

For five days next week the Mangere East couple will give up their favourite foods and live on tinned beans and pasta to draw attention to extreme poverty.

It is part of the worldwide Live Below the Line challenge in which participants aim to keep themselves fed for $2.25 a day or less - the equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

GOING WITHOUT: Alan and Emily Worman hope to raise awareness of extreme poverty.

Nearly 1 billion people worldwide live in extreme poverty, the Live Below the Line website says.

The pair were moved to act through their work with a youth group at Papakura's Crossroads Methodist Church.

"We were talking to the kids about poverty and they just didn't really get it because it's quite a hard thing to understand," Ms Worman says.


"And then we saw this challenge and thought, ‘Actually, that's a really practical way that we can show that it's really hard to break out of the poverty cycle'. When you've only got $2.25 a day, what are your options really?"

While researching the challenge, they were inspired by the parable of Jesus feeding 5000 hungry people with five loaves and two fish.

"We thought that it really ties into poverty and the fact that Jesus didn't play the blame game. He didn't say, ‘Why haven't you brought food with you?' He just did something about it," Ms Worman says.

Planning meals has caused some difficulty for the couple, who say they will miss meat, cheese and coffee the most.

"You realise very, very quickly that some things are just not going to be on that list," Mr Worman says.

"There's going to be a lot of tinned, low-quality stuff. The idea of fresh fruit and vege is massively reduced. You'll be weighing the carrots and working out the price per carrot.

"I know the first thing I'm going to do on the Saturday is run over to the chip shop."

Interest in the challenge from friends and from their youth group has been massive, they say.

And that's what it's all about.

"We're aware that we're not going to change the world but it's getting the conversation out there and getting it started," Mr Worman says.

The couple, who will be doing the challenge with Emily's 16-year-old stepsister Edith Lange, will donate all of the money they raise to TEAR Fund's "Share and Care" project.

It helps to rescue girls from human trafficking in Nepal and supports mothers and children in India and Ethiopia.

Other participants will be fundraising for Unicef, World Vision and Oxfam.

Nearly $100,000 in total has been raised through the challenge so far this year.

Manukau Courier