It seems like a preposterous question, but it’s a reality for nearly half of the world’s population.
The Global Two Dollar Challenge (TDC) is a week of sacrifice, reflection, and activism meant to remind US citizens and policy makers alike of the challenges of global poverty, as well as all the work that is needed to make an effective, sustainable difference.
This challenge focuses on high school and college students because millennials have often been called to be “the generation that will end global poverty.” The problem is, many well-meaning but quite temporary solutions, like buying a pair of TOMS shoes or volunteering briefly at an orphanage, contribute an ounce of good to a two-ton problem. The Global Two Dollar Challenge aims to change the conversation from one of short-term solutions focused on donors and volunteers, to one of complex, locally-driven solutions that focus on those in need. It’s a pretty tall order!
Where to start? First of all, move from sympathy to empathy. From April 4th through April 8th, students across the country will pledge to live on just $2 per day in an effort to gain a better understanding of the struggles that come with extreme poverty. There are several levels of participation, beginner, intermediate, and advanced, that determine how much of your daily routine you will sacrifice. The $2 per day must cover all food, personal hygiene, and extra clothing…and in the higher levels, shelter.
The goal is to inspire students and give them resources to advocate for responsible aid, including reaching out to US Congress members and large aid organizations like the UN. Your role doesn’t end after four days, that’s when it starts!
Check out the TDC website for regular updates as well as background info and strategies for advocating for change. You can also find the full rules and code of conduct there, which can help you set up a plan for your challenge that meets your needs. During the challenge, TDC will be launching a social media campaign to start a conversation about global poverty using #TDC2016 and #TDC16; make sure to check it out!