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Paying a small price to alleviate poverty


Two dollars doesn’t buy you much anymore – so imagine the dilemma facing a group of St Mary's College students who took up the challenge to live off $2 a day for five days.

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While there may have been a few hunger pains in the classrooms and they had to make good choices when it came to what they could eat, it was a small price to pay in order to raise awareness about extreme poverty in the world.

The students were taking part in Live Below the Line, a challenge organised by Oaktree, a youth-run organisation in Australia aiming to end poverty in the world.

Passionate about social justice, Year 11 student Hillary Thursby took part last week in the challenge for the second consecutive year and said it was a wonderful way to focus attention on the 1.2 billion people around the world living in extreme poverty.

“By promoting campaigns such as Live Below the Line, I can further promote the idea of a ‘just world’ where everyone’s voices can be heard and a place where poverty is not a living reality, and education empowers individuals to follow their dreams,” Hillary said.

Through the challenge participants raise money to improve education for children in the Asia Pacific region. Since its inception in 2010, Live Below the Line has raised more than $10.8 million to support projects in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.

St Mary’s social justice coordinator Peter Batty said he was very proud to be working in partnership with students wanting to make a difference in their world.

“This initiative is just one of many social justice actions that occur during the school year, all of them largely driven by a passionate cohort of young women,” he said.



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