Five Days

May 11, 2012

Have you heard of The Global Poverty Project? They’ve issued a challenge to live on $1.50 worth of food a day for five days, which is the budget for the over 1.4 billion living in poverty worldwide. It’s shocking and seemingly impossible to imagine or accomplish without much suffering. Even more so when I remember that it’s not a challenge and an actual reality for a whole lot of people.


There’s a video about the five-day challenge here. Would you ever take the dare? I don’t know if I could stick with it.

Blackberries photographed by Brian W. Ferry.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jillian In Italy May 11, 2012 at 3:45 am

Wow. I think projects like this make me think a lot about and appreciate how lucky we are to have shelter, food, water and education (plus so so so much more).

I would love the idea of trying the 5 day challenge but with a family of 5 it would be almost impossible. Which REALLY opens my eyes to how lucky we are not to be one of the 1.4 billion people living in poverty worldwide.


2 Christie May 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

I think this is fantastic. It is similar to a project here in the US, where people are challenged to survive on the amount that a person will receive for food stamps. It is basically impossible to eat a healthy meal on the amount that comes from food stamps. As a poverty advocate, I find such challenges important to illustrate the difficulties that poor people face. But do keep in mind that $1.50 worth of food in India or Africa will go a lot farther than Paris or New York City, or anywhere in the “developed” world.


3 Tina Z May 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

Well, $1.50 doesn’t buy the same basket of goods across each country. This is the problem with arbitrary figures describing what people around the world live on. Each currency is converted to USD but ignores the basket of goods. Economists calculate the difference in baskets of goods, it’s called purchasing power parity (ppp) and the Economist’s Big Mac index is a close measure of that, too. Anyone who has traveled abroad is aware of difference in the cost of a lunch or dinner. For example, $1.50 in my town won’t buy much food, but it has bought me a full lunch in Bangkok.

Nonprofits and others should have challenges that involve sending a check to UNICEF or the World Food Programme (WFP) at the end. Now that would be great! Starving your self and family for 5 days does nothing to actually help people in poverty unless you write that check. I think awareness stunts like this only foster schadenfreude. Awareness should never be a goal in and of itself. Action, however, should be.

I don’t intend to personally attack you, please understand that. Most people never think of this angle, I get that. Sorry to gripe, this is what I study and it bothers me how simplistic and wrongheaded many philanthropic groups approach global poverty. It makes us feel like we’ve done something when in reality we’ve done nothing at all.


4 Tina Z May 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

and I see now that you can donate as part of your participation, I hope everyone does!


5 nicole i May 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

the awareness of what we spend and what others spend on food is important. i talk about this with my kids, especially when they think they are starving but really have no idea what starving is. i am not sure living on $1.50 a day in the usa is possible. i think the awareness of can happen when our kids are wasteful of their food…ask for a hot cocoa (the equivalent of $1.50) and then don’t drink it. a subject to discuss for sure. setting aside the money and donating even small amounts to organizations online have been a tangible way to get my kids involved in global poverty. we have also talked about participating in 72hr famine days as well to increase our awareness.


6 sue May 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Everybody should see the grave of the fireflies it paints an awful picture of what is like to have nothing. It is not an antiwar movie at all, it is beautiful.

When i have a kid i will show this movie to him/her as soon as they turn around 5 years old


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: