Could you live below the poverty line? La Salle Academy accepts the challenge

SMILING THROUGH IT: La Salle students Paige McNamara, Brielle Mendham, Grace Hadley, Hayley Bennett, Leah Phlillis, Dillan Thompson and Lachlan Zyp with (yum) white rice and white bread for lunch.

SMILING THROUGH IT: La Salle students Paige McNamara, Brielle Mendham, Grace Hadley, Hayley Bennett, Leah Phlillis, Dillan Thompson and Lachlan Zyp with (yum) white rice and white bread for lunch.

It’s bland, it’s tasteless and it's not filling.

La Salle Academy students got a taste of what it was like to live under the poverty line recently to raise much-needed funds to train school teachers for children in developing countries. 

Students and one of their teachers took on the Live Below The Line challenge of living for under $2 a day for five days.

They found their choices limited: White rice, white bread, crushed tomatoes and, here and there, some cheats. 

“I gave blood so that I could get free fruit cake,” teacher Johanne Zyp said. 

“From a food technology teaching point of view, all the food you can afford at $2 a day is over-processed, white and tasteless. More healthy options are not affordable, or at least, not for the whole length of the challenge.”

Suggested shopping list for the challenge: 

  • Eggs: $2.79
  • 900g bag of rolled oats: $1.87
  • Onion: 54c
  • 1 washed potato: 70c
  • Small head of garlic: 70c
  • 500g pkt of pasta: $1
  • 400g tinned tomatoes: $1.20
  • 500g salt: 98c
  • Total: $9.78
  • From Live Below The Line

The assault on their taste buds was rewarded by teachers, students and the community, who helped them raise more than $2500 in just a few days. 

That money will go towards teaching training and school supplies for developing countries. 

Year 11 student Brielle Mendham said she was inspired to start the challenge after visiting Vietnam and Cambodia and seeing the education options for the children growing up in that area. 

“We visited a school that was just one room, with all the student crammed in,” she said. 

"But not all the students were able to go to school. A lot of them needed to be with family to support them and work to help them.”

The poverty line is considered to be living on the equivalent of $2 a day. 

Their $2500 in fundraising will allow 10 people to be trained to become teachers, or provide 73 students with school textbooks, or provide 48 student scholarships, or give 25 students the uniforms and textbooks they need to help them through school.

“When we found out that we have raised that much money in only four days, and what we could do with this money, we were all so excited and proud,” Brielle said. 

Fundraising for the effort does not close until the end of June so the students are looking forward to being able to donate still more to the appeal, which specifically targets students in Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. 

If you would like to contribute, visit www.livebelowtheline.com.au, select the blue donate bubble and search for La Salle Academy. 

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop