YouthForum: Step into the shoes of the poor

YouthForum: Step into the shoes of the poor

I WOULD like to compliment Caritas Singapore and a coalition of partners for having such a meaningful campaign as "Singaporeans Against Poverty".

They have rolled out the $5 Challenge and the BMZ Challenge, both of which encourage individuals to empathise with people who are struggling to make ends meet.

For the $5 challenge, individuals try to live on $5 a day, just as some low-income families do, for one month. After one month, they can share their experience online.

I signed up for the $5 challenge and found that it was indeed difficult to live on $5 a day as one meal could easily cost me that amount. It taught me the importance of money and made me think twice about spending on unnecessary indulgences such as going to the movies.

BMZ stands for "Beyond My (Comfort) Zone". In this challenge, participants are asked to befriend someone who earns $1,000 or less a month, such as cleaners, security guards and food stall assistants, to learn about their working conditions and how many mouths they have to feed.

I would like to encourage other young people to support this campaign. Whether we are rich or poor, we should all have a decent standard of living and enjoy the same opportunities in education and work.

Angie Teo, 18, polytechnic student

This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
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