The challenge of living on the poverty line is an educational exercise designed to aid in the transformation of a participant into an advocate for the poor. Participants are expected to act in a respectful manner at all times and strive to spread awareness. By taking part in the Challenge, a participant becomes a liaison for those living in poverty around the world as well as a representative of the organisations with which they partner. Below we have outlined a Code of Conduct to act as a guideline for behaviour in situations that may arise during your Challenge.
* You participate for 5 days and 4 nights.
* You can carry over savings from one day into the next.
* With a few exceptions (see below) you cannot use any part of the wealth you enjoyed before the Challenge (that includes stored food and drinks and meal plans at the school canteen).
* Your consumption of water is limited to similar levels to those experienced in the developing world, and you should not use hot water to wash.
* Your consumption of electricity should be limited to similar levels to those experienced in the developing world, i.e. just use one light at night, no air conditioning etc.
* You may not use your phone or laptop except for work or Two Dollar Challenge related activities.
* You are not allowed to consume perishable food donations from others
* All school rules must be followed as normal and you are still expected to participate in all class work and other assignments. Do not use your challenge as a reason for an extension on or incompletion of an assignment.
* Be cognisant of the images and language you use to raise awareness and funds. Avoid using images and language that reinforces stereotypes of the poor as powerless.
* The Challenge is largely an exposure of contrasts between our daily life within and outside the exercise. You control how dedicated you are and how much you get out of it.
* There are so many moments where each person can choose to break a rule – use your mobile phone, accept an offer of food/drink from someone not doing the Challenge, have a hot shower etc. In those moments, you must decide whether to adhere, bend, or break a rule. Whatever your decision, it is alright. We just ask that you recognise that you have a choice. For nearly half the world’s population there is no choice, there is no immediate exit.
* The Challenge is not necessarily about strict adherence to the rules. It is a personal journey towards becoming a more empathetic and humble member of the global community.
It is up to you to decide what your own exceptions are. Is it acceptable to use a fridge for storing perishable foods where many people living below the poverty line may not have access to a fridge? Is it okay to use a stove for cooking, even though your stove probably cost a lot more than stoves or fires in the developing world? Should you restrict yourself from wearing expensive clothes? Should you limit yourself to one or two sets of cheap clothes that you have to wash by hand during the course of the Challenge? These are choices for you to make individually, but the Challenge is not just about food - it is about lifestyle too.
** Many of these ideas and rules have come from the excellent resources provided on
Who are we?
A team working alongside Golden Magezi in Bukinda, Uganda, running an orphanage that provides kids with love, family and an education.