Living below the line

Wayne Erb and Ping Sim are taking part in Tearfund’s Live Below the Line challenge so that their two sons grow up understanding how lucky they are to live in New Zealand. Photo supplied

A Howick couple never imagined they’d have to work out precisely how much a teaspoon of peanut butter and a single slice of toast costs.

By this week, Wayne Erb and Ping Sim will be doing exactly that as part of Tearfund’s Live below the Line challenge.

Wayne and Ping will experience this first hand, what around 767 million people experience every day by living off $2.85 a day for five days.

The Live below the Line Campaign raises money to enable some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to form self-help groups and farming co-operatives, which provide sustainable income opportunities and help reduce poverty.

“$2.85 is less than a cup of coffee. It’s powerful to realise that what we experience for five days is a challenge faced by one in 10 humans every day,” Ping says.

So far the couple are top of the leader board having raised more than $1000, which started with a $5 donation from their six-year-old son, Shi Ming.

“We’ve always been interested in donating to charities, but we really wanted to do something practical that our boys could see,” Wayne says.

“This way we start having those conversations with them at a young age.”

The couple say the whole experience has made them realise how resourceful people living in poverty are in providing for their family.

They immediately realised that meat products were off the menu and dairy products were a luxury.

“It’s got me thinking about how a spoonful of peanut butter costs 20c and how meat and dairy products cost far more,” Ping says.

“Protein and foods rich in iron are out of the price range for people in extreme poverty.”
They alo want their children to grow up realising how lucky they are to live in New Zealand where they have access to fresh food and clean water.

  • You can donate to Wayne and Ping’s Live below the Line campaign here – https://www.livebelowtheline.org.nz/fundraisers/pingandwaynewillrockthis/