At such a young age, Rachell Dade is doing amazing things for people who not only live on the other side of the world, but people who are perfect strangers. She insists, how ever, that poverty does not need a face – the statistics are far too scary for that.
Hi Rachell. You moved here five years ago. How has it shaped you as a person – especially with all of the great missions you have been a part of?
What can I say about this place? … I feel it’s shaped my identity actually; it’s become a solid support system to come back to. I’ve found the most amazing friends who are just as nuts as me – you just can’t find that anywhere else!
It’s given me something to really call home and be thankful for every day … the safety of the relaxed, beachy environment that surrounds us. The no worries approach to everything! This is what I want everyone to have; this is what I’m fighting for.
> Give readers a brief rundown on what the Live Below the Line Campaign is about, where you will be eating food on a budget of (gasp!) $2 a day!
Ok, so for five days I’ll be living on $2 a day, as this is what the world bank defines as living in extreme poverty. Admittedly, I’ll only be getting a taste, as I still have clothes on my back and a roof over my head. People live on this amount for every expense – not just food (but I know already I’m gonna be hungry!)
> Tell us some of the recipes you have researched and can expect to eat during your one week mission.
Well, there’ll be lots of soup – I can tell you that much! There’s hummus, which may be a bit of a luxury at $2.13 to make. I found some cheap pumpkins, so soup is already made and waiting in the freezer for my dinner each night at about 30 cents a serving. I don’t think I’ll want to look at any for a while after that!
Then it’ll just be basics like rice for everything else, possibly a banana or two, and maybe some broccoli soup. I won’t be able to keep up my chocolate addiction!
> Why do you think it is important for you to experience this? And why would you encourage others?
I feel I need to really let my mind focus on how little it really is that people have to live on daily, to see why they make choices for their children to work rather than be educated, just so that they can survive.
I need to feel the hunger pains to really value what it is that we’re raising money for. To truly acknowledge how lucky I am to have been born in Australia and to know that my next meal is whenever I want it to be. I would encourage others to see how truly privileged the life they are living is, so that they can be more aware of the world around them and how they can help.
It’s a great feeling once you’ve realised that something you have done has changed someone’s life for the better.
> Tell us some hard hitting facts about Living below the Line.
1.4 billion people currently live below this line. These people often have to choose between valuable education, food and life saving medicine, with the results being children having to work most of their life to help support their families.
Nine million children died last year due to fixable illnesses that weren’t able to be cured because they simply didn’t have enough money.
$50 = scholarship for 1 student for 6 months, $100 = scholarship for 1 student for 1 year, $200 = teacher education workshop for 1 teacher for 1 year, $500 = scholarships for 5 kids for 1 year.
> Does doing this type of charity work inspire you to do this for a career?
It actually has … I never thought I’d say that! I still desperately want to go to acting school (and a part of me wishes to be a Zoologist and help animals), but I can then use these skills in activism and getting my voice heard. Even politics, if I can get my head around it!
> Where would you like to be in five years?
Who knows! Umm … receiving the Tony award for my role in Chicago, while going for a swim in the ocean one hot summer’s day, to congratulating Australia from the UN on their work in agreement with their goals, and what has been achieved in the last five years for eliminating poverty.
> You are about to venture to Africa. What do you hope to achieve there?
In Africa, I think I’m mainly hoping to achieve some perspective and an experience like no other. To see poverty in real life, to talk to those living with these injustices and feeling their pain.
To be able to say, “No, I’ve seen this with my own eyes, and this cannot be pushed away and forgotten about.”
> You have done some amazing things with the money you have raised so far. Tell us more.
So far we’ve raised $69,919.62, and it just keeps soaring! We’ve already raised enough money to cover our first goal, which was to re-open a school in the Yangis community in Papua New Guinea that has been closed for 15 years.
That’s a whole generation that has gone without an education. Now that there is enough money to open and sustain that school, we’re moving on to opening three schools in the poorest, most poverty-stricken areas of Cambodia with quality educational standards, outreach programs and scholarships.
People will be able to go to school and not have to choose between an education, food or medicine! Hooray!
> How can people get involved or sponsor you?
Well, there are a few ways. If they are brave they can join me in the challenge by visiting http://www.livebelowtheline.com or they can sponsor me on http://www.everydayhero.com.au/rachell_dade (and read my blog).
Or come to the movie premiere ‘Going the Distance’, August 26, at Great Lakes Cinema 3. The money raised will be going to this cause and it is $15 a ticket – which will include some yummy pre-movie munchies!
Call 6557 6333 for tickets (Banks and Dade Family Chiropractic), or drop into Fresh Forster, and Banks and Dade Chiropractic.
> Thank you Rachell.