By Lydia Hollister-Jones, Communications Intern 

1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, this is the story of eight-year-old Jovita and her life below the line. Join Live Below the Line with ChildFund New Zealand to make a lasting difference in the lives of children like Jovita. 

Jovita with some of her Father's fish

Jovita is a lot busier than your average eight-year-old. She wakes up early to walk to a well so that her family can have water, returns to get ready for school and then spends the day there. After school she comes home to play with her brother Jorge, helps her mother fix the food, has a nighttime meal and right before bed, she rereads over all she learnt at school that day. Jovita skips breakfast for a very different reason to your average eight-year-old; it’s not because there are only fruit loops and no coco pops in the pantry, and it’s not because Mum forgot to put the porridge on. No, Jovita’s reason for skipping breakfast is simple: there isn’t anything to eat. Jovita lives below the extreme poverty line every day.

Jovita smiles when she talks about school. She doesn’t mind so much that the road there is very hot and dusty, because she knows that when she gets there she can make new friends and learn new things. If she’s lucky, she might even get to play skip rubber with her best friend Gabriela in recess. Her favourite food is fish; her father is a fisherman who brings some home from work when he can. He works very hard and sometimes gets very sick, Jovita says she worries about him a lot because the harder he works the sicker he gets. However, he is the breadwinner for the family and without his income, Jovita wouldn’t even be able to eat, let alone attend school.

She announces confidently that she’s going to be a teacher when she grows up so that others in her village can also receive an education. Her parents dream about this too, they want so badly for Jovita to have an education and break free of poverty. There appears to be a common thread amongst children who live below the extreme poverty line, they want more than anything to be able to help others. The more you read the stories of these precious children, the clearer the challenge to change their world becomes.

Sign up to Live Below the Line with ChildFund today to help children like Jovita break free of poverty.

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