Kiwi actors try living on $2.85 a day

Laura Thompson, who played Shortland Street ex-villain Victoria, will be living on $2.85 for five days as a part of the Live Below the Line campaign.
Laura Thompson, who played Shortland Street ex-villain Victoria, will be living on $2.85 for five days as a part of the Live Below the Line campaign.

Several Kiwi actors are joining forces in a stand against human trafficking as part of this year's Live Below the Line campaign.

Laura Thompson, who played villain Victoria on Shortland Street, Filthy Rich star Emma Fenton, who plays Savannah, and Offspring's Ido Drent are teaming up with television personality Petra Bagust to raise funds to fight human trafficking.

From September 19-23, the stars will spend $2.85 a day on food - the equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

"For me, Live Below the Line is a great opportunity to forgo some of the freedoms I take for granted," Drent said.

"Most importantly, it's an opportunity to stand with my brothers and sisters around the world who don't have this freedom, and to help change the way their stories end.

Bagust and Drent will gain a first-hand experience of the human trafficking industry when they travel to Thailand and Cambodia next month.

They will visit the red-light district in Bangkok, participate in a mock investigation and meet undercover investigators, lawyers, trauma councillors and human trafficking survivors.

It would be an eye-opening and emotional experience, Tearfund anti-trafficking specialist Barbara-Anne Lewis said.

"Meeting innocent young girls, living with no food, no running water and barely a roof over their head is incredibly sad.

"To then learn that they are being sold each night to migrant fisherman for sex, just so their brothers and sisters can eat, breaks your heart in every way imaginable," she said.

"Tearfund's work on the ground is at the cutting edge of the counter trafficking movement. By joining Live Below the Line, you will help us protect and rebuild many more innocent lives."

Kiwi chefs Michael Meredith, Geoff Scott, Bevan Smith and Peta Mathias will be creating 95 cent recipes for the participants.

The money raised from the campaign funds Tearfund's anti-human trafficking and slavery work in the hot spot of Southeast Asia.

Human trafficking and slavery are prevalent today, with an estimated 21 million people trapped in slavery, more than any other time in history.

Of those, 4.5 million people, mostly women and children, are believed to be trafficked into sex slavery.

- NZ Herald

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