SEVEN different faiths were represented in London earlier this month for a lunch consisting of only £1 worth of food per person. The Reverend Dr. Rosemarie Mallett, Parish Priest at St. John the Evangelist, Angell Town Brixton, was one guest who discussed with others the significance of interfaith work in its attempts to fight poverty.
Rev. Mallett said “As people of faith we have this desire to do good in the world around us. If we could come together to show that desire, imagine how powerful that would be. As a Christian, I feel that it is a duty to ensure that I care for my neighbour and to extend that compassion to those living in difficult situations and in poverty all around the world.”
The lunch was an event preceding Global Poverty Project’s Live Below the Line challenge due in May to raise funds and awareness for charities – such as partner Malaria No More UK – who help fight extreme poverty. The campaign will challenge the British public to live on £1 per day for all food and drink between 7-11 May 2012. The donations will be used to help save lives and stop suffering from malaria in Africa, which has roughly 1.4 billion people who live below the line everyday.
Other guests included Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Bahá’í representatives. Guest Kiran Bali commented “Live Below the Line is an opportunity to actively reflect on how we can make a positive change towards tackling poverty. It demonstrates that simple sacrifices, such as the responsible and ethical consumption of food and resources will show solidarity to those living in extreme poverty.”
Chazzan Jeremy Burko added “Many religious communities are brought together through hospitality and the symbolism of food. The Live Below the Line campaign feels so natural to me as a Jew, as it connects the symbolism of how we understand and care for the world.”
Rev. Mallett went further, stating “I know that faith communities already do a tremendous amount of good work in many developing countries but I think what is important is to bring that message home. This campaign highlights to people in the UK just how little [is needed] to make a huge difference to the lives of so many people.”
To those interested in joining the challenge and/or donating to one of the many charities involved, visit www.livebelowtheline.com/uk