Miriam interviews Hili on the 121 challenge!

I’ve heard about the 121 challenge and was intrigued. Can you tell me a bit about it and how you got the idea for this initiative?

For five days from Monday 12th May, some family and friends and myself, will be living on €1.21 each a day. We were inspired to do this by the global Live Below the Line‘ Movement.

The idea is to raise awareness about global poverty – 1.2 billion people live below the poverty line (that is approximately 2500 times the population of Malta). These people live like this every day, not just for five. Once people become aware of that, they might be able to understand other things that are happening around us.

We are also taking this opportunity to raise funds to support a medical centre in Cambodia. We were involved in setting it up of a few years ago.. My wife and I spent six months living and doing volunteer work in that country.  It was a life-changing experience, and it helped open our eyes to certain realities that perhaps, some people are not aware of.

The medical centre was a project that had been identified by our local partners and it is now doing great work – really changing lives. People who would otherwise not have access to medical attention are getting it. These include new mums, kids and young people with disabilities. The centre still needs a bit of help as it strives to become more sustainable.

What can people do to help?

Well, donations are much appreciated! You can donate on betternow.org/mt/121challenge

Perhaps, people could donate the amount they spend on food during an average week or the amount they spend on booze or possibly on going out. And if anyone fancies doing the challenge themselves, they can contact me – amplifymalta@gmail.com

Being a foodie I immediately started wondering what kind of ‘meal’ you will be able to put together with 1.21. Any ideas? Will you be able to use some sort of cooker?

People who live below the poverty line need to use their money for everything – energy costs, transport etc. Thankfully, our €1.21 only has to cover food costs. So yes, we can use a cooker.

My sister who is also a bit of a foodie, is taking the challenge and has come up with a few ideas – they are on our blog the121challenge.blogspot.com – but it looks like lots of cheap pasta, and things like eggs to keep us going. Tomatoes are pretty cheap at the moment, too so I might have to gorge on a few of them. Oh, and tap water (the rules are we can drink as much as we want of that.)

Good luck! Finally I cannot help but wonder whether you are using any methods to keep yourself positive (or distracted) during this challenge.

It is going to be a normal work week for all of us. We need to keep going with our everyday life. That is the point. I have got two stand-up gigs next week, so whilst it will be hard to be performing in a bar and not to drink any beer, it is probably better than sitting at home thinking of food.