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Friday, December 11, 2015

Trying to live on 5€ a day

Some time ago, volunteeers were asked to try and live one week off a budget of 5€ a day... This to 'feel' how the poor must live in our country. 

More than 10 % of the population lives below the poverty mark. Some forms of support (OCMW help, some pensions for the elderly) are way below what you need to get around. Go figure, if you have 800 € or less a month, how do you cope? You have to pay rent, electricity and heating, buy food, ... and these are only the basics. Most of the time, the money would not suffice to pay for the above mentioned.

So a group of people tried to get around with those 5 € a day. One of them, being interviewed on radio, told the listeners he had not been able to eat for two days in a row (only surviving on water) and even ate the crust around the cheese.

Being poor is a terrible thing. Especially the kids suffers from it. When the parents are poor, chances are that the children will be poor as well.

My dad came from such a family. They didn't have a nail to scratch their behind. Mum and Dad were out of work and drank. So he, being the eldest, had the courage to go out and find a job, so he could buy food for the little ones that depended on him. When the sister following in age was a bit older, she too looked for a sewing job. Three of the kids - out of eight - made it out of poverty. My dad got a good job at the railways and always sought to improve himself, one sister became a modiste and earned good money, while the other married a good boy and they first began a small shop and later on increased on it. All three of them had the will to make it. I still admire them for it.

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