LEAH Watkins is discovering first-hand how impoverished populations can survive on a gold coin a day as she raises money to fight extreme poverty.
The 25-year-old is more than two weeks into her Live Below the Line fund-raising challenge, living on just $2 a day.
With just $14 to spend on her weekly groceries, Ms Watkins, a full-time Deakin University medical student, said the first week of the challenge had been the hardest.
“I was hungry all the time but I think my body is used to it,” she said.
“Everything tastes amazing to me now.
“Work seems to take my mind off it. The hardest days have been studying because there are less distractions. Some nights it’s hard to sleep.”
Ms Watkins said she had passed her target of $800 and raised nearly $1000 for a school for the disabled in Papua New Guinea.
“Everyone has been so generous. It’s made it easier seeing how generous people can be.
“I’ve always been passionate about global poverty and when I was 16 I lived in South Africa on an exchange, so I saw people earning $1 an hour or less. The only way we can change global poverty is through education, so it’s really great that the money from this is going toward starting a school for people with disabilities.
“I have a chocolate Easter bunny in the pantry so sometimes I look at that as my reward food.”
To make a donation or follow Ms Watkins’ challenge, visit her blog at www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leahw