Last week my life returned to normal…
My life is never anything but normal! What I am referring to though is life pre my Below the Poverty Line Challenge I participated in the week before where I only had $67.54 to spend on food for myself.
This week I happily returned to drinking my decaf, soya, mocha lattes with a vengeance after a week of restraint where I could only afford two of these drinks. These coffees cost me $12.00 and my total budget for the week was $ 67.54!
Why was I subjecting myself to this suffering? Given that Moeloco’s existence is to raise the awareness around children in poverty and create social impact, when I was challenged by my business coach to join her in this experience I chose to be more connected to my cause.
At first I thought this can’t be too hard especially as many of you had supported me with your beautiful recipes and food ideas. Many of which mind you, were from your poor student days. Most of these suggestions involved beans, rice, vegetables and soup!
I knew I could not eat out for the week except for business meetings, where that expenditure was not part of my budget. Given there would be three of these that meant three less meals I needed to account for. I was quite excited knowing that I would be cooking again, something I had always enjoyed yet seemed to have lost the art of once I started Moeloco and relied on takeaway or dining out.
With my rather short shopping list, off I went to the shops early Monday morning. Now us women know that there’s the list and then there is the other list, right?? Do you often wonder how certain groceries just find their way into your shopping basket and you have absolutely no idea how it landed there? Well I could not have this happening so I had to continually edit my shop and some time later I emerged from my shopping having spent just over $33. I was feeling pretty chuffed that I still had half my budget left.
I then returned home to unpack my lovely small stash and I began to cook. I wanted to prepare dahl and veggie soup that I would live on for most of the week. Of course I was cursing as I had such a busy day and was a little peeved off that I had to take up time cooking and then I was p!#%ed off because I burnt the rice and made the dahl so watery it was like soup.
Anyway I ended up living off the soup that went into a slow cooker which I could not stuff up. On the positive side, I ate healthy and it was all okay. The rest of my budget went into some extra groceries and two take away lunches for the week.
What happened to me during this week was the heightened consciousness I received around making better shopping choices and planning out my meals. I could live within this budget if I did not eat out. Although if it was not for the corporate events I had that week I may have run over budget.
I feel incredibly grateful that I still had so many choices, something that those people living in poverty don’t. Here was I turning up my nose at having to eat dahl and soup all weekend when nearly half of the world’s population (which is more than 3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day.
And then there are those living in extreme poverty, which is more than 1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day. I recently discovered in the new Hope documentary that children in Kolkatta can be bought for 50 cents to perform sexual deeds. These are some of the kids Moeloco are helping through the Hope Foundation.
Puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it?
I never fully appreciated Mum and Dad saying to me that one we have all heard…
“Don’t leave food on your plate. Think of all those starving children in the world!”
Now I really do get it.
This challenge gave me an understanding of what I can actually do without. If I apply this same consciousness now to all my spending, I can definitely save more money to give back to the children I’m supporting.
Did you know that if each of us in the western world gave $1 dollar a day then we would stop poverty just like that and 22, 000 children a day dying would stop.
It’s really crazy hey! All the more reason for us to Dream Crazy and do what we can to help.
It’s up to me.
It’s up to you.
It’s up to us.