A St Albans man is hoping to highlight extreme poverty by surviving on £1 a day for five days.

Mark Lister of Beaconsfield Road, recently completed the Live Below the Line Campaign to raise £100 for Progressio, an international development charity.

The 53-year-old said he didn’t think twice about setting himself the challenge after receiving generous hospitality on field visits to Zimbabwe, Malawi and Timor Leste .

He said: "It helped me to gain a small understanding of the challenges these people face every day. Trying to eat healthily when living below the line is extremely difficult. Fresh fruit, vegetables and protein , all essential for good health and a balanced diet, are far too costly.

"I felt trapped, with all my meals revolving around porridge, pearl barley and cheap bread in order to fill up my stomach."

The money Mr Lister has raised will go directly towards Progressio’s people-powered projects in countries like Malawi.

He explained: "Progressio uses its knowledge and skills to help local communities to identify their own priorities, draw up their own action plans and then implement them. One such example is its work with Arise and Shine International, a Malawian organisation that shows young villagers how to diversify the crops they produce in an organically sustainable way."

Mr Lister said he is conscious of the unjust distribution of power and wealth in the world and is keen to carry on doing what he can to highlight the problem.

He added: "I am so grateful that I can afford food without worrying whether I’ll have enough at the end of the day. We must all work harder to challenge the power structures that stop those in extreme poverty from improving their lives."

Live Below the Line was started by the Global Poverty Project and challenges people to live on just £1 a day for five days.  Now in its fourth year, Live Below the Line inspires action for the world’s poorest people.

To sponsor Mr Lister visit https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/marklister.