Posts Tagged ‘poverty

Live below the line…

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I am an avocate of frugal living it’s true.  I am a bargain shopper.  I sniff out ‘deals’ like pigs seeking truffles.  I like to eat healthily and not buy what I term as ‘crap’ from supermarkets (crisps, cereal bars etc).

So far, so smug – I’m sure you’ll agree.

But while I pat myself on the back for being such a canny shopper, the fact is that if I wanted to have a blow out on an expensive resturant meal, or gorge on cakes and sweets I could. I am lucky that I have the means to spend more than I do on food and drink.

However millions of people around the world don’t have that luxury, and face days of hunger, malnourishment and extreme poverty.   Can you imagine what it would be like to face the daily struggle to feed yourself and your family?  To have to make the choice between eating or buying clothes? To try and get by on a little amount of money – say £1 – a day?

Well imagine no more, and take part in Live Below the Line – a new campaign which encourages people around the UK to live off just £1 a day for food and drink for a week, to get a better understanding of the challenges faced by people living in extreme poverty.

In the UK many of us are used to being able to buy what we like, when we like.  In fact we often buy so much, that 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households every year.

The Live Below the Line challenge (which takes place from 2-6 May 2011) is a great way to highlight not only the daily challenges of  people trapped in extreme poverty, but maybe also just how much we buy but don’t actually need.   You can also use the challenge as an opportunity to raise funds for the fight against extreme poverty.

So sure, I consider myself a frugal shopper, but I don’t know what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has no choice.  I’m going to join the campaign on 2 – 6 May, and I hope many others will join me!


Written by Lores

April 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

A fair and progressive budget?

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I was saddened, but not surprised to read yesterday’s Observer article; ‘George Osborne’s budget cuts will hit Britain’s poorest families six times harder than the richest’ which states that

The impact of George Osborne‘s emergency budget on the poor has been revealed in a study that finds the country’s least well-off families face cuts equivalent to 21.7% of their household income. That means they will be hit six times harder than the very richest by the coalition’s deficit-cutting measures.

I understand that this country is heavily in debt, and that the government needs to make cuts in order to repay the deficit, however, I fail to see the so called ‘fairness’ of this austerity budget.  After all, wasn’t the recession itself exacerbated by the wealthy banks?

The poorest in our communities struggle as it is.  The announced cuts to benefits (yes, a three year ‘freeze’ in Child Benefit does count as a ‘cut’ in real terms), cuts to public services (on which those poorest in the community rely on heavily), rising joblessness and VAT rises will only serve to increase the rich / poor divide.  And while the rise in income tax allowance is a welcome, I can’t help but feel this is a very small carrot compared to a very big and brutal stick.

Meanwhile 23 of the 29 new cabinet members are millionaires

Fair and progressive?  I fail to see this myself.

As someone says in the comments section of the above Guardian article “This budget will cause misery for many least able to bear the burden”.

Written by Lores

June 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Shame on H&M

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I read a shocking article in the New York Times yesterday, about how H&M have admitted to slashing clothes to stop people scavanging discarded clothing from it’s stores.

The article goes on to say that “[Ms. Magnus]…volunteered to help H & M connect with a charity or agency in New York that could put the unsold items to better use than simply tossing them in the trash. So far, she said, she has gotten no response”

I find it appalling that in this day and age of over production, and unequal wealth distribution, some large organisations such as H&M have such disregard for ‘social responsibility.   It isn’t impractical to donate unwanted / unsold items to charity – other organisations manage it after all, organisations such as Pret a Manger who donate unsold sandwiches to homeless shelters in the UK.

The fact that this has come to light has meant that H&M has certainly lost a customer in me.

Written by Lores

January 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

Links for the end of April 2009

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It’s the first day of May, and so I thought I would share here a collection of the interesting, exciting, useful, or just plain odd links to ‘stuff’ that I have found over the past month

The Amusing… 

The Amazing / Inspiring…

  • Kiva – microfinance charity, which makes an active difference to those living in poverty
  • Random Acts of Kindness – A resource for people committed to spreading kindness – makes you feel good just reading the site
  • Worldometer – real time world statistics.  Mind blowing

The Useful…

  • – shorten your long urls and track how many people click
  • eatsleepdraw – Share your artwork with the world!
  • London Farmers Markets – find your local farmer’s market / organic produce (London only!)
  • Netvibes – get all your RSS feeds in one place
  • RandomActs – communications consultant
  • Twtpoll – create your own Twitter Polls
  • Wordle – make beautiful word clouds

The Odd…

  • MeanKitty – the place for not so nice cats on the internet (I’m quite scared of cats…so maybe should have been filed under ‘The Scary…”)