Life on £1 a day - Ealing men's experiences

Amran: energy levels progressively dropped

Amran: energy levels progressively dropped

First published in News
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WOULD you ever will yourself into extreme poverty?

It may seem like a rhetorical question, but from April 28-May 2, more than 25,000 people worldwide did just that by taking part in the Live Below The Line challenge.

Two West Ealing residents were among those who challenged themselves to spend just £1 a day on food and drink for 5 days.

Matthew Kyle was inspired to take part after he began volunteering at the charity, Progressio.

He said: “For 1.2 billion people around the world, this is their daily reality. They don't have a choice.

"If I can start a conversation, even a small one, about this, then I'll see that as a positive.”

Amran Hussain, taking the challenge for a second time, said: “It was extremely difficult, especially as I have a busy lifestyle and my energy levels were diminishing day by day.”

According to Live Below The Line, people who live in extreme property have £1 to cover everything including health, housing, transport, food and education.

For both Ealing residents taking, Wednesday presented their biggest challenge of the week.

Matthew said: “From about midday, I felt so tired I half expected to fall asleep there and then.

“Being surrounded by biscuits and other tempting food in a team meeting didn’t help!”

Amran’s menu was modelled on the diet most people from Bangladesh have when they fall into extreme poverty.

He said: “I went to a pre-planned dinner party at a friend’s house and I couldn’t eat anything they offered.

“They even offered me just rice, in accordance with my own budget, but as it wasn’t my own I refused.”

Buying all items at the beginning of the week for the total cost of £3.49, Amran lived on rice, lentils, salt, chillies and water. Salt cost him 30p, rice £2, chillies 20p and lentils 99p.

Both Ealing participants described the challenge as difficult, but necessary to raise awareness.

Matthew said he intends to continue having a dialogue with himself and others about how much food is consumed and wasted with the hope of making a positive change.

Amran also donated £100 worth of food items to the Ealing Foodbank, equating to twice the amount he would have spent on food during his working week.

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