Brisbane State High School students will try to live on just $2 a day to get a taste of how 1.4 billion people around the world living in extreme poverty survive. Thousands of young Australians will give up their daily treats to live on $2 a day for five days as part of Live Below the Line, a youth run poverty alleviation campaign.
Seventeen year old Khushi Shelat, a Brisbane State High School student who runs a not-for-profit called Change Maker, has vowed to join the cause and raise funds for education initiatives in Cambodia and Timor-Leste. “I’m passionate about seeing a world where poverty doesn’t exist and I believe that the work Oaktree does with girl’s education and leadership development is crucial for that,” she said. Khushi was inspired to take the challenge to raise awareness and money for people around the world living in extreme poverty. “My family is originally from India and I’ve seen first hand the detrimental effects that a lack of education can have on kid’s lives and how it contributes to the poverty cycle,” said Khushi. In countries just north of Australia, people live without running water, access to schools or medical care. Since its inception in 2010, Live Below the Line has raised over $10.8 million, which has been instrumental in facilitating education projects in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.
Live Below the Line is a campaign run by the Oaktree Foundation, Australia’s largest aid and development organization run by volunteers under the age of 26. Oaktree partners with education organisations in Cambodia and Timor-Leste to empower young people to access the education they need to break out of poverty by giving school books and scholarships to young people who otherwise might not be able to go to school. Oaktree also uses its campaigns to network with decision makers and influence policy change concerning poverty, such as Australian aid.