Rowan Williams lives on £1 a day in solidarity with world's poor

Rowan Williams said the thought of those living on £1 a day each and every day of their lives kept him going(Photo: Christian Aid)

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has spent five days living on just £1 a day to raise funds for Christian Aid. 

Lord Williams, Christian Aid chair, took up the charity's Live Below the Line challenge to test himself and stand in solidarity with the 1.2 billion people around the world who have to survive on the same amount every day.  

He admits it was tough to plan meals and maintain a nutritionally balanced diet with such a small budget. Fresh fruit and veg especially were largely left off the menu.

"There's not much variety. You have to rely heavily on cheap staples so eating becomes less of a pleasure and more about trying to nourish yourself which is very difficult on just £1," he said.

"Getting the ideal five-a-day - let alone more recent recommendations of seven or ten - is more or less impossible."

And despite the temptation to walk away, Lord Williams was determined to see the challenge through.

"Every moment I was conscious I could walk away from this but what about all the people who can't walk away?" he said.

Now he is challenging others to Live Below the Line during Christian Aid Week, from 11 to 17 May, and raise money through sponsorship to free even more people from extreme poverty.   

"I hope people will sign up to Live Below the Line because exploring this process of living on just £1 a day, sharing the experience of some of the most challenged people in the world, is really a way of discovering something about yourself and about the world we live in," he said.

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