06 May

At University Hall (UniHall) our residents are not only passionate about particular causes but they are proactive and take action to help make the world a better place.

Some of our current residents Michelle Kang and Sochantha Huang chose to take part in this year’s Live Below the Line. They have opted to eat on $2 a day and to raise funds to help take action against ending poverty.

Live Below the Line is a fundraising campaign coordinated by Oaktree, one of Australia’s largest youth-run organisations. They work with partners in the Asia-Pacific to fund programs that help communities break out of the poverty cycle.

Live Below the Line is something I’ve wanted to do since seeing a senior at UniHall do it in a previous year – I personally know people who have struggled through similar circumstances and I think it’s really important that I go through this experience, both to put myself in their shoes but also to actually do something about it, by raising funds to make an impact – to create the change,” says Michelle.

Sochantha and Michelle have described this week as an eye opening learning curb. Together they have planned meals, made shopping trips, motivated each other and battled it out through their hungry spells. After all living at the Hall where there are flexible meal plans has been challenging as food is always readily available.

For Sochantha Live Below the Line has been a challenge as he absolutely loves food. He has prepared his meals with a few staple ingredients (rice and potatoes) which he describes as interesting but a good money saving method.

“I am definitely more thankful for the privilege that I have of not having to do plan and ration meals every day. I really had to question every day if I would have sufficient food for the next day, and portion my meals out as best as I can. All in all, I would encourage anyone to have a go, not only to experience what people at the poverty line do, but also to appreciate the situation they are in now,” says Sochantha.

Michelle has had a lot of fun, creating content to raise awareness, planning meals, most importantly taking a good Instagram selfie of her meals and sharing her cause with the people around her.

“The love, compassion and support from my peers at The University of Western Australia and UniHall, to our Residential Life Coordinators and even my friends and family worldwide has been overwhelming. It’s been a meaningful 5 days and not only would I not change anything, I would do it all again in a heartbeat,” says Michelle.

Their journey can be followed and supported online – they have almost reached their fundraising goals.

Michelle’s Blog: www.livebelowtheline.com.au/me/michelle_kang

Sochantha’s Blog:  www.livebelowtheline.com.au/me/sochantha_huang

They are both very much looking forward to the ‘last supper’ which will take place tonight at 12.01pm where they will have successfully completed the challenge and can have a meal worth more than $2.

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