Sarah highlights plight of world’s poorest people

Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson

A FORMER north east Fife woman has been living on just £1 a day to highlight the plight of impoverished people around the world.

Former Bell Baxter High School pupil Sarah Wilson (45) works for Christian Aid and spent five days restricting her outgoings to the level of 1.4 billion people worldwide.

Now Sarah is encouraging other north east Fifers to take up the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge themselves between May 7 and 11.

As well as getting an insight into the lives of those in poverty, participants can raise funds to help people in the world’s poorest communities.

Sarah said: “In my job I travel a lot to the poorest parts of Latin America and the Caribbean where people really do live on £1 a day, day after day.

“The ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge helps to put that in perspective in a really practical way.”

By completing the sponsored challenge, Sarah and her team of six colleagues raised nearly £300 to support the work of Christian Aid.

Last year 10,000 people worldwide took part, raising over £1 million, and this year the bar has been set even higher.

Sarah was featured in the Fife Herald in 2010 when she travelled to Haiti with Christian Aid to help people affected by the earthquake that devastated the country.

She added: “I spent a month in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010 and I saw at first hand the deep hardship that many families there face on a daily basis.

“Many people think that prices in the UK are more expensive than in developing countries, but that isn’t necessarily true.

“In Gaza, cooking oil is three times the price than in the UK, and in Tajikistan a bag of sugar costs the same as in a supermarket.”

Sarah explained that the money raised from the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge will help people like Haiti mother Benite Joseph.

Benite lives with her four children aged between nine years and 16 months under a tarpaulin perched on a very small ledge about 400 metres above the main road in Fonds-Verettes, near Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic.

With little or no money the Joseph family, like poor families all over Haiti, can afford very little to eat.

They look for plants that grow in the wild such as squash or Congo pea, as well as the very small ‘native plantain’ that they can boil and add fried leaves to for flavour.

With this meal their only cost is cooking fuel — but that’s only if they are lucky enough to find the plants.