Living on £1 a day

Ever wondered what it’s like to live on £1 a day? Why? It’s actually what a large proportion of the world lives on. Christine Isherwood tried it recently prompted by CAFOD’s invitation to do so as part of the “Hungry for Change” campaign and send the money saved to fund our work with communities who live on £1 a day. Christine kindly agreed to share her thoughts with us:

I have dieted in the past and been on strict diets so it wasn’t a new experience for me. However, when it’s not solely your own decision to undertake such privation, you have the challenge of answering to the dictates of someone else etc. I felt really uplifted on the second day when I found that I could buy 6 bananas for 60p because as we agreed they do satiate your appetite. However, I was dismayed that 4 smallish apples cost £1. The couple who did it on behalf of CAFOD at Easter whose blog I read were very precise with detail. They wouldn’t have any hot drinks as they took the view that people in the developing world don’t always have access to electricity to boil water.

We had to eat foods much as you’d expect to eat in the developing world. Therefore, you wouldn’t be fulfilling the criteria if you ate a 13p tin of rice pudding from Tesco’s basic foodstuff range for example. I got very headachy and found I was whiling time away until I could next eat. It was warm weather those few days and I made leek/potato soup as soup is so filling, but it did seem strange to be eating it given the temperature. I didn’t feel great at all at the end of it and I don’t think I could have done it for 7 days.

I also found I was becoming judgemental and thinking what a difference we could make if everybody else was undertaking the challenge. So I found myself on the outside looking in etc. It’s certainly a point to bear in mind that cutting back on food intake for two days a week on a regular basis would certainly be a feat worth accomplishing. It did all feel worthwhile when I was able to donate the £20 I felt that I’d saved on food to charity.

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