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Aussie in 15 kronor Sweden food challenge

The Local · 4 May 2012, 11:24

Published: 04 May 2012 11:24 GMT+02:00

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With the “Live Below the Line” poverty challenge beginning on Monday, Rohkämper has signed up from Sweden and plans to raise money for charity by living off just 15 kronor a day – but with soaring food costs in Stockholm, she admits it might not be easy.

The campaign, which began in 2010 in Australia, works by raising funds and awareness for worldwide extreme poverty, something organizers write affects 1.4 billion people each day. The money raised will help fund educational projects that tackle extreme poverty at its source.

“This is an insight into what other people go through, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the easiest way to get a feel for the hardships people go through, as everyone can relate to food,” Rohkämper told The Local.

“Basically I want to help raise awareness for this charity, because I know not many Swedes have heard of it, and it would be fantastic if more people can donate, or even join up. It’s only for five days!”

According to the official website, the World Bank defined the extreme poverty line as living on less than $1.25 per day, something the organization equated to 2 Australian dollars, which Rohkämper rounded to 15 kronor.

Even though the charity does not yet exist in Sweden, the 26-year-old Aussie plans to help the cause by raising the issue with Swedes too.

This year, there are official campaigns in the US, the UK, New Zealand… and now, unofficially, Sweden.

Rohkämper came to Sweden in July last year following her Swedish boyfriend, and spent the majority of her time working as a volleyball coach and instructor in Umeå, northern Sweden.

Having participated in the challenge last year in Sydney, she was keen to investigate the possibility of living in Sweden off just 15 kronor.

Now in Stockholm, Rohkämper has already been carefully eyeing up prices in her local grocery store, and is currently debating whether to do the shopping each day, or to do a “big shop” and spend the weekly 75 kronor budget at once.

“It’ll be tough, I’m thinking of filling myself up with whole meal pasta for my carbohydrates and soya beans for protein. And eggs too, but not free-range,” she told The Local.

“The rules say that you can’t just accept free food either, so it’ll be tricky, especially because I’ll be training for my volleyball and will probably get pretty hungry,”

Having spent almost a year in Sweden now, there are already a few Swedish favourites that will be missed during the week.

“I’m going to miss the chocolate and the Swedish candy – especially the Kex chocolate bars,” she said.

Story continues below…

The challenge is held between the 7th and 11th of May, and money can be donated through the official site (see link below).

At the time of writing, donations so far total AUD$687,500 in Australia, 138,000 pounds in England, and $45,000 in the US.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:51 May 4, 2012 by JulieLou40
1.25 usd is only 8 kr per day.......so why is she saying 15?
14:16 May 4, 2012 by John.Smith

Purchasing parity, i.e. $1,25 will go a lot farther in Somalia than it would in Sweden. Seems reasonable to me.... heck of a challange.
14:53 May 4, 2012 by Beachhannah
The budget is relative. It is more expensive to live in Sweden than in the U.S so 8kr worth of food in Sweden is not equal to the same amount of food you can survive on America.

If you want to know how they calculate the officially currencies used for the challenge, check here.

14:55 May 4, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Live on 15 SEKs a day...? in Stockholm..?

And the best of luck!
14:57 May 4, 2012 by soultraveler3
She should at least mention that though John.

Doubling the amount of money is not rounding up. If she really wants to experience what it is to be that poor and hungry to support the cause she should stick with 37kr. It would be very hard and she might have to have very small portions or miss a few meals during the five days but isn't that the point? To show what these people go through in some small way?

With 37-40kr , trips to multiple stores, farmer's markets, and looking at ads, she should be able to get by. There's ads all the time for cheap pasta 500g-1kg for about 10kr. A small package of eggs (Aren't most of them free-range now?) can be bought for about 10kr. You can get generic baked beans in tomato sauce for 3kr per can. You can also get an entire loaf of cheap toast for 10-12kr.

She could have beans and toast, eggs on toast, eggs and pasta and depending on what fruit was on sale a few pieces of that as well. 40kr can buy plenty of protein and carbs to get her through 5 days.
15:10 May 4, 2012 by truthworthy
1.25 in Somalia is 375000 Somali Shillings. A whole family can survive on that in a week.

Better fast. That is the best way to understand poverty.
15:16 May 4, 2012 by Beachhannah

If you think 37-40kr is more correct then do the challenge on that and raise some money yourself.. I think the point of this is to raise more awareness here in Sweden. Get more people active in making a difference.
18:39 May 4, 2012 by viennacalling
this is quite hilarious I have €6.10 to last me the weekend until Monday morning

the reason being is Credito Agricola screwed up my card and pin number, they say it was the magnetic strip, oh yeh pull my other leg ! So I am stuck in Vienna nice place to be stuck but I have very little cash without using my back up Card from yeh you guessed it DownUnder ! Hav a good weekend
01:04 May 5, 2012 by mian1
I can spend in 12kr/day
09:41 May 5, 2012 by Da Goat
Good luck beachhannah!

hope yu not too hungry by the end of the week!
10:57 May 5, 2012 by Iraniboy
She is really admirable!
18:42 May 5, 2012 by Mb 65
She only got enough to go to the toilet in Göteborg.
08:20 May 7, 2012 by entry
Give her no roof, no shelter, no local stores and a pack of Greenpeace nutjobs yelling at her that she is selfish to want to have a fire to warm herself or to desire to upgrade her Iphone and laptop for the third and fourth time(as that is reserved for the privileged hypocrites).
09:01 May 7, 2012 by karex
I wish her luck!
12:15 May 7, 2012 by soultraveler3
Beach, 37-40kr is the correct exchange for $1.25 so it's not a matter of me thinking it's more correct or not, it's basic math.

It's a good thing she's doing either way, was just saying that Julie was right and that it would be possible for her to do it with the proper exchange. I only have a little part-time job and we do well with my sambo's salary, but I still try to be very conscience of prices and therefor know it's 100% doable.

I don't think just giving money to poor people in poor countries will ever solve the problems that are there, so I volunteer my time and money to different causes instead.
20:59 May 8, 2012 by Beachhannah
You are right about the exchange being to 37-40kr...but the exchange rate is not how you work out how much money one can spend each day.

As I said it is relative. I posted a link which informs people of how they have calculated the amount in each of the countries participating in this challenge.

If you were to convert Aussie dollars to Swedish kronor then it would be about 70kr for the whole week, which makes more sense than converting U.S dollars, which aren't worth as much.

And it probably should be quite abit more kronor than 14kr a day considering Swedens higher standards of living.
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