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ASU students take challenge to live on $2 a day

November 13, 2013

Imagine what it would be like to live on $2 a day. Forty-five percent of the world’s population does it. Could you?

Arizona State University students on the Polytechnic campus have been doing so this week, starting Nov. 12 and continuing through Nov. 15. They have made a pledge to abstain from modern-day luxuries and challenge themselves to confront poverty head-on.

The Two Dollar Challenge, a national experiential learning exercise and poverty action program, is designed to give students an opportunity to step out of their daily lives and more tangibly reflect upon the daily and prolonged challenges of living in poverty while raising awareness and funds to support economic development organizations.

The ASU students are raising money for Esperança. Their mission is improving health and providing hope for families in the poorest communities of the world through sustainable disease prevention, education and treatment.

There are approximately 15 students who are taking the challenge, as well as another 15 students who are helping with fundraising. ASU organizations such as Changemaker Central, Green Devils Sustainability Club, Undergraduate Student Government , Graphic Information Technology Club and the Residence Hall Association are all involved.

“The Two Dollar Challenge goes beyond a typical charity drive in that, through the experience and accompanying discussion, students are educated on the complexity of world poverty,” said group leader Mentor Dida, an alternative energy and technologies student in the College of Technology and Innovation from Kosovo, Prishtina. “Student groups can become immediate actors in the eradication of global poverty and gain the experience to become passionate leaders in the field for the future.”

In addition to living on $2 a day, the students are living in a cardboard house located in front of the Student Union. From their “home” they are engaging the community and helping raise awareness about global poverty.

So, how are they doing living on $2 a day?

“While taking the challenge last semester, we learned that $2 a day is not enough for a person to survive,” said Dida. “Our strategy is combining all of our $2 in order to buy food for the masses.”

Dida said the students would like to thank the following groups for helping organize the challenge: the Dean's Office at ASU Polytechnic, Changemaker Central, Undergraduate Student Government, Green Devils, Career Preparation, Residential Hall Association, Graphical Information Technology Club and Gourmet Devils.

Donations are being accepted at their cardboard house or through their website at: