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Kiwi celebrities go behind the lens for poverty

Kiwi celebrities go behind the lens for poverty

After taking top honours at this year’s film festival, actress and director Aidee Walker is turning her camera on extreme poverty as she, and a few of the country’s most recognisable faces and voices, take on September’s Live Below the Line challenge for charity partner NPH New Zealand.

The former Outrageous Fortune star is filming a documentary that follows her fellow NPH New Zealand celebrity ambassadors as they raise money and awareness for orphaned children throughout Latin America by surviving on just $2.25 a day for food.

The challenge will run from September 23–27 and the involvement of the celebrity participants will help raise donations and provide the bare necessities such as clean water, food, schooling and a loving home for the Latin American children that they support, and whom would otherwise be homeless.

“A bunch of us are going to get together and document our experiences as we take on the challenge as a group,” says Walker. “We all want to do our part for the world’s poorest by raising both awareness and money for extreme poverty.”

Walker, who just won Best Short Film at the New Zealand International Film Festival, has brought a range of her entertainer friends together including comedian Steve Wrigley, radio hosts Richie Hardcore and Bobbie Brazuka, and fellow actresses Michelle Ang and Luane Gordon; all of whom have thrown their support behind NPH New Zealand's partnership in the challenge.

The first episode of the five series documentary will be released on September 3, and they will all look at the intense contrast between the celebrity participant’s normal eating habits and what they will be dining on during the challenge - a daily diet that 1.2 billion people who live in extreme poverty have to contend with every day of their lives.

“Artist poverty can be pretty dire but at least we have more than $2.25 a day for food,” jokes Walker. “Everything will be recorded from what we eat to how our daily lives are affected by the challenge and we’re really interested to see how we all feel about poverty after we have experienced it firsthand.”

NPH New Zealand Director, Kristina Cavit thinks the documentary will be a huge success and show how people can take the simple things in life, like a regular meal, for granted.

“It’s going to be an amazing project and give a real insight into how so many people around the world have to live their lives,” says Cavit. “I’m excited to see how they handle the challenge and the viewing of the documentary when it’s all over.”

All money raised by the celebrities’ involvement will go directly to improving the quality of life at the orphanages that NPH New Zealand supports and donations can easily be made through their online fundraising page.


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