Dear UVic Social Justice Studies community,
As you may know in addition to directing UVic’s Social Justice Studies program these past three years, I am treasurer of VIDEA, which is one of the key social justice-oriented NGOs in Victoria. In a climate of government de-funding for social justice-oriented NGOs – worsened dramatically since last year’s federal election, the fate of groups like VIDEA hangs in the balance. This summer, I am participating in VIDEA’s Global Solidarity Challenge, as a way of raising funds for its work in development education and youth empowerment here in Canada, and grassroots economic and community development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
I hope you can join me by joining my team, ‘Social Justice for All’. As team members, we will each accept the challenge to live on $1.25 a day for the week of July 15-21. That is indeed a challenge, which more than 1.29 billion people face each day. For us, it will provide some experiential learning in solidarity with brothers and sisters on the receiving end of an unjust global economic system. And importantly, the Challenge is a way of spreading awareness and raising funds for the excellent work VIDEA does in Africa and in Canada (go to http://solidarity.videa.ca/videaday/about.asp for more details).
The Global Solidarity Challenge recognizes that not everyone will be able to participate for the full week. It is perfectly acceptable for you to participate for a few days or even a single day. The point is to get involved, and to help out a venerable NGO that walks the walk on global justice issues.
Please join me by registering as a team member of ‘Social Justice for All’. You can get the full picture of this important campaign at http://solidarity.videa.ca/videaday/ , and then register as a team member at http://solidarity.videa.ca/videaday/register.asp (click Join a Team).
Once you are registered as a team member, feel free to contact me for further details. I would really like to hear from you. You can also check some of the other pages on the website, such as How to be Successful (http://solidarity.videa.ca/videaday/success.asp ) and Tips (http://solidarity.videa.ca/videaday/tips.asp).
Oh, and there are some benefits of participation and team membership. For every $500 you raise, your own name is placed in a draw for a trip to one of VIDEA’s southern African projects! Also, if our entire team manages to raise $8,500, one team member (of our choice) will win a visit to one of VIDEA’s southern African projects as well. So with a strong team effort, one of us will be able to participate directly in VIDEA’s African collaborations.
I do hope you will join the Social Justice for All team. If you are not able to participate directly in this way, I hope you will consider two other ways to support this campaign. First, please make a donation to the campaign, at http://solidarity.videa.ca/videaday/participantpage.asp?fundid=1721&uid=3083&role=3 . Any size donation will be gratefully accepted. Second, please forward this message to anyone who you think might be interested in participating as a team member or donating. This is a totally grassroots campaign and we need to mobilize everyone’s social networks.
Many thanks for your support for this important social justice cause.
Social Justice Studies Program
University of Victori
The more you stick to staple foods, purchase from local gardens, share food with friends, walk or cycle instead of using a motorized vehicle and watch what foods you consume, the easier you will find this challenge. Ultimately you are accountable to yourself – be honest, give living below the global extreme poverty line as good of an effort as you can make, and take experiential knowledge from this that you can share with your friends, family and community!
Here are a few tips and suggestions that will also help make this challenge a little bit easier for you:
- Buy all of your groceries at once – most produce will last the whole week, and buying it all at once will allow you to cost-out food more easily
- Buy food with another person to receive the 50% sharing discount
- Plan your meals in advance and determine how much it will cost you even before the week starts – it is easier to make a little go a long way if you can work out what items can be used for multiple meals
- Take advantage of the reductions on staple foods
- Try to purchase foods that are inexpensive and that will fill you up – flour is useful to make bread, pancakes, pizza dough and to thicken soups, while lentils are not only filling, but can also be used as a side dish
- Avoid meat and dairy as they are most expensive, but for protein sources consider lentils, beans and eggs if you can afford it
- Walk or cycle for a day instead of using a motorized vehicle to add to your daily budget
Here are a few ideas for meals that you may want to consider for the week (see the Costing):
- Plain rice, or rice with vegetables or garlic
- Pasta with tomato sauce or beans
- Basic vegetable soup – ex/ potato or carrot
- Couscous with vegetables
- Macaroni with peas
- Lentil stew and steamed rice
- Basic sandwiches
- Basic bean salad
- Baked potato
The following African staples have been discounted by 75%:
Bananas – $0.08/each
Beans (canned) – $0.25/540g
Flour – $2.75/10kg or $0.04/cup
Garlic – $0.25/bulb
Lentils – $0.75/450g or $0.43/cup
Sweet Onions – $0.19/each
Sweet Potatoes – $0.42/each
White Rice – $4.25/10kg or $0.06/cup
The following items have been discounted by 25%:
Apples – $0.38/each
Beefsteak Tomatoes – $0.64/each
Carrots – $0.23/each
Coffee (black) – $0.23/cup
Eggs – $0.19/each
Oranges (small) – $0.33/each
Pasta – $1.88/900g or $0.45/cup
Tea (plain) – $0.15/tea bag
Tofu – $1.35/package or $0.34/100g
Items that are not listed here are full price!
Make it easier for yourself – Special Discounts and Ideas to Reduce Costs
- Everyone wins when you share! You live more sustainability, build healthy communities, and save money!
- When you are sharing food, discount the food proportionate to the number of people you are sharing with – this is the discount that you get JUST for the act of sharing. So – sharing with one other – discount by half; sharing with two others – discount by a third; and so on.
- But there’s more – you then only pay for your share of the item, so sharing with one other – discount AGAIN by a half, as you are only using half of the item; sharing with two others – discount again by a third; and so on.
- For example: Let’s say an item costs $1.00, and you share it with one person; you are only eating half, so you discount your half by 50%; you only pay $0.25!
- If three people are sharing an item, you pay 1/3 the cost of YOUR third; if four people share then you pay 1/4 the cost of your quarter; and so on.
- This is a great opportunity to engage with neighbours and friends to share information about what this challenge represents, and to share your food – as you may not be able to afford it unless you share!
- Organize a communal meal with other participants during the week – not only is this a very common practice in southern Africa, but it is a great way to meet people and share the cost of your food.
- Go for free! Food that is grown in gardens is free! Check out your friends’ gardens, or local berry bushes to see what you can find.
- Focus on eating southern African staples, such as beans, rice, flour, lentils, bananas and onions, as they have been discounted by 75%!
- Add $0.25 to your daily budget for every car or bus journey you forego by walking or cycling instead.
- Add $0.25 again to your in your house by using candles or flashlights instead.daily budget for every day you avoid turning the lights on.