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.
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.