NEW DELHI, India — Imagine your name is Divya Patel, 26-year-old woman living in India with four children. You earn $1.25 a day as a bricklayer, living in an urban slum or rural village. Each day, you are faced with daunting questions just to survive:
Should you pull your son out of school every three days in order to get the nearest clean water, which is four hours away?
Should you send your teenage daughter to work at a factory (whose potential employer might be a sex trafficker) in order to earn more money?
Should you stay home with your child who became sick after drinking unclean water and miss one day’s worth of wages?
Can you survive 30 days of extreme poverty?
What is Survive 125?
Survive 125 is a new online game that encourages gamers to “live the life of reality” of the extreme poor in India by challenging them to survive 30 days on just $1.25 a day. The online game was launched by Live 58, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending global poverty.
“Live58 is made up of 10 non-profits working to see the end of extreme poverty, by educating and inspiring people on issues of extreme poverty,” Scott Seibold, Director of Media for Live58, told Mashable.
The non-profits are intrinsically motivated to fight global poverty. Dr. Scott Todd, leader with Live58, attributes extreme poverty rather than malaria, measles or unclean water as the “one single killer responsible for all these deaths.” He said in a video message that “wherever poverty has a stronghold, the statistics are grim.”
Who are 58:Alliance?
The partnership of 10 non-profit organizations, known as 58: Alliance, serve through their area of expertise: disaster relief, environmental stewardship, sustainable agriculture, micro-enterprise development, safe water, food security, justice and human rights, child development, government aid and community development.
2. International Justice Mission
3. Living Water International
4. World Relief
5. Food for the Hungry
6. Echo -Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization
7. Plant with a Purpose
8. Hope International
9. World Renew
10. Micah Challenge
Online gaming experience
By playing the role of Patel, gamers are encouraged to make critical decisions that could determine the survival of his/her family: “Your child has measles, what would you do?” “Your sister dies in childbirth, but your new born niece survives, would you take her in or give her up for adoption?” “Your mom is sick, but doesn’t have money for medication. Would you be able to help her?”
Money or points are deducted based on each decision made. If the money runs out, the game is over.
“Lots of people have done videos, but we never saw anyone take on gaming, and we wanted to create something experimental,” continued Seibold.
“Although the game doesn’t have a real-life charitable component, it follows a recent trend of Internet games created to spread awareness about social issues,” according to Huffington Post. The newspaper cites the example of Wetopia, a Facebook game, which allows gamers to build a virtual village and translates the acquired points into actual financial donations for charities around the world.
Half the Sky is the online game of journalist Nicholas Kristo’s book with the same title and it focuses on increasing awareness of the plight of under-served women and girls around the worldwide. Similar to Wetopia game, the online game of Kristo’s best-selling book requires gamers to sustain a virtual village and provides the chance of contributing financially to charities after completing designated tasks.
Is it possible to end global poverty by 2035?
Todd indicated in Relevant Magazine: “The data says it’s absolutely possible. In 1981, 52 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. In 2005, that number was down to 26 percent. We’ve cut in half the percentage of people living in extreme poverty, and we did it in just thirty years.”
Live58 issues an invitation for each person to imagine what would happen “if we fasted from some of our own comforts and luxuries” and give it to the poor.
“When we see people suffering and dying in extreme poverty, we can look at what’s possible and we can say it does not have to be like that,” continued Todd.
Live58 believes that “when we consider the tremendous progress that has been made in fighting extreme poverty—and when we can see that its end is actually within reach—the potential impact of increased giving is stunning.”
– Flora Khoo