Live Below the Line to Fight Off Poverty


Global Poverty Project

Mr. Hugh Evans and actor Hugh Jackman inform the world about poverty.

In the Jesuit cafeteria, $1.50 can buy a modest lunch of a cup of rice, a salad or a corndog. While living on only one of those items for the entire day seems impossible, CEO of the Global Poverty Project Hugh Evans has challenged Jesuit students to spend $1.50 per day on food for five days and participate in Live Below the Line.

Live Below the Line is an initiative by the Global Poverty Project which hopes to raise funds and promote awareness by having participants live on $1.50 worth of food per day. $1.50 marks the “extreme poverty line,” and 1.4 billion people worldwide live below this line on less than $1.50 per day. Live Below the Line gives people a taste of what it means to live in solidarity with the poorest people in our world.

The Global Poverty Project, which is behind Live Below the Line, was started by Hugh Evans in 2008. The foundation’s goal is to “increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action
to end extreme poverty.” Mr. Evans visited Jesuit on April 18 and gave a presentation called “1.4 Billion Reasons,” which refers to the 1.4 billion people who live in extreme poverty.

“Megan McAninch, who graduated from Jesuit, contacted us and told us about it,” said Principal Sandy Satterberg. “It fit well into our curriculum about peace and justice, into the Millennium goals that are posted in the cafeteria and what the Society of Jesus has asked us to do. Therefore, we decided to host the assembly.”

Mr. Evans’ shocking presentation about the harsh realities of impoverished citizens living in developing nations engaged students and even left some audience members in tears.

“It was powerful,” said Mrs. Satterberg of the presentation. “It made me much more aware of our standard of living and how much we have and how much we waste, [and] it made me question
why we have so much and others have so little.”

“1.4 Billion Reasons” affected junior Lauren Sander so much that she decided to take action. She has begun organizing Jesuit students for Live Below the Line, which takes place May 16 –

A few select Jesuit students also had the privilege of meeting Hugh Evans personally and having lunch with him when he visited. One of these students was junior Meghana Kalavar. Kalavar
was able to meet him because of her involvement in the non-profit organization REAL.

REAL, which stands for Rural Education and Literacy is a non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon, which aims to educate rural youth and achieve literacy in India’s underprivileged

“We believe that education is a vital link which can help eliminate the poverty and disease that envelops rural India,” said Kalavar. Kalavar is co-president of the youth board, one of the two
boards that make up REAL.

“I absolutely loved talking to him [Hugh Evans],” she added. “I’ve sent him numerous emails to collaborate with him, and I’m astounded by his willingness to help.”

So what can Jesuit students do to promote the Global Poverty Project’s cause?

Join Live Below the Line with other Jesuit students. Start raising funds and raising awareness among the people around you. Start paying attention to the little details in life – how can you live more simply?