Could you live on the same rations as a Syrian refugee for a whole week? That’s what I’ll be doing during Refugee Week this June, when I take part in the 2019 Ration Challenge.
For one week, from June 16th-23rd, I’ll be eating the same rations as a refugee in camps in Jordan for one week. It’s going to be a challenge – but I’m doing it to raise both awareness and funds for a very good cause.
30% of the money raised through the Ration Challenge will provide urgently needed food, healthcare and education for Syrian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes, and who are living in camps in Jordan. The remaining 70% will be used by charity Concern Worldwide to support their work with displaced people, refugees and the most vulnerable people in the poorest places in the world.
The Ration Challenge is in its inaugural year in the UK, but has previously taken place in New Zealand and Australia, where it has raised £5.3 million to support communities across the globe. But what does it actually involve…?
Basically, I’ll be sent a ration box that will reflect as closely as possible what it’s like to eat rations as a Syrian refugee in Jordan. I’ve been told that the box will contain 420g of rice, 170g of lentils, 85g of dried chickpeas, 120g of tinned sardines, 400g of tinned kidney beans and 330ml of vegetable oil, along with two food ‘coupons’ for an additional 1.5kg of rice and 400g of plain flour – representative of the coupons that many refugees are given by either the UN or other organisations, to be exchanged in local shops for essential staples.
And that’s it, for the entire week. It’s going to be very little food, it’s going to be tricky to keep it interesting, and there’s going to be very little in terms of flavour…it’s going to be a huge switch to eating purely for survival from eating for pleasure – which is something we definitely take for granted.
Back in both 2012 and 2013 I took part in the Live Below The Line challenge to raise money for Health Poverty Action, living off £1 a day for five days for all my food and drink. That was challenge enough…but this is going to be a hell of a lot trickier. As a food blogger – and a Slimming World consultant who promotes healthy, balanced eating, I have a feeling I’m going to struggle…
And I’m looking for sponsorship. Obviously the main reason for doing this is to raise as much as I can for the cause – but I’m being a little selfish too. Because when I reach certain sponsorship milestones, I can add a few extras. If I can raise £125, I can add salt to my ration pack. If I raise £250 I can add up to 170g of a vegetable of my choice. A £400 total will give me an additional 120g of protein of my choice in that week, while if I reach £600 in total, I can add a single hot or cold drink of my choice (up to 330ml).
I’ll be blogging my way through the challenge (you’ll be able to see all of my posts here)…wish me luck! If you have any ideas of how to make the most of my meagre rations, let me know in the comments…and if you’d like to sponsor my efforts, you’ll find my fundraising page here!
Alternatively, if you’d like to take part yourself, sign up here…
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