Hunger strikes Claire as OK – if it’s for charity

Claire McHaffie. �1 a day challenge.

Claire McHaffie. �1 a day challenge.

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A STUDENT from Yetholm lived on £1 a day last week, writes Sally Gillespie.

International development MSc student Claire McHaffie took part in Global Poverty Project’s Live Below the Line aiming to raise awareness of those living in poverty.

“I’ve never done a challenge like this before, which has a big focus on raising awareness. I’m also trying to raise a bit of money for one of Global Poverty Project’s partners, Restless Development, a youth-led development agency,” she said during her mission last week.

The Edinburgh University student spent five days on her self-imposed poverty line from Monday to Friday. And she tripled her aim of raising £50 when supporters donated £148 online.

In her blog, Claire, 24, told supporters: “The donations and support really helped to keep me going. Despite trying to be as creative as possible with what I cooked and despite having a few surprisingly decent meals, I was frustrated mainly with the lack of choice.

“I couldn’t have a snack if I wanted one, I couldn’t reach into the fridge and take whatever I felt like to make dinner, I couldn’t eat if I was hungry until my next scheduled meal.

“Every meal had to be planned for, pennies had to be counted carefully and whatever was bought on Monday just had to do. I went to bed hungry most nights. I woke up during the night on one occasion because I was so hungry. I woke up hungry every morning.

“I chose to do this challenge, but for 1.4 billion people, living on £1 a day for everything , it is not a choice. ”

Previous fundraising efforts by Claire, daughter of the Yetholm minister, Robin McHaffie, include raising more than £1,000 from events such as coffee mornings towards building a new community centre in Sri Lanka.

She said: “In 2009 I raised £2,200 to raise money for Childreach International and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I think that I’m most proud of climbing Kili and raising that amount of money for Childreach.

“The fundraising involved putting on a number of events, and the climb itself was physically and mentally challenging. We were able to visit some of the projects that the money went towards, though, and could see that the hard work was worth it.”

To see Claire’s blog on her latest challenge last week including pictures and recipes, go to www.livebelowtheline.com, pic UK and write “mchaffie” into the search box.