More than 30 students at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa, located at 7001 E Williams Field Rd, will abstain from modern-day luxuries and challenge themselves to live on two dollars a day and in cardboard-box houses from Nov., 12-15, 2013. Students will convene outside the Student Union and begin building their homes at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 12.
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.
This Challenge is distinct from your average charity drive for three reasons. First, it asks students to restrict their consumption and live by other rules designed to simulate poverty. This experience gives students a glimpse of how nearly half of the world’s population lives every day. Second, the Two Dollar Challenge participants will raise funds for the cause of their choice. Third, through the experience and accompanying discussion students are educated about the complexity of world poverty. 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.
“This is our second year partnering with Esperança and our students are looking forward to the challenge,” said Mark Henderson, engineering professor and co-founder of GlobalResolve at ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation. “During the three day Challenge, the students will clean dorm rooms, hold car washes and do other odd jobs to make money to purchase food and live. It will be an eye-opening experience for them to see what poverty feels like.”
The students will also be holding a shoe drive to help fund Esperança’s programs. Esperança is a nonprofit that improves health and provides hope for families in the poorest communities of the world through sustainable disease prevention, education and treatment. The general public can drop off their gently used shoes at the Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa anytime during the three day challenge, Nov., 12-15, 2013.
“We’re excited to be a part of ASU’s Two Dollar Challenge,” said Tom Egan, executive director, Esperança. “We offer programs and services in 5 countries and our volunteers are always surprised by the living conditions. People in Bolivia and Nicaragua don’t always have access to clean water and food, they are disease stricken and don’t have stable homes to live in. The Two Dollar Challenge is an opportunity for us to bring awareness to poverty locally, as well as nationally and internationally.”