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Take up the Ration Challenge to help refugees

If you’re feeling helpless watching media reports of devastating wars waging overseas, you can make a difference by registering for this year’s Ration Challenge to raise urgent funds for refugees.

The Ration Challenge is a powerful and thought-provoking fundraising initiative that empowers Australians to stand in solidarity with those who are living as refugees in other countries. Everyone that registers will receive a ration pack in the mail, containing the same rations, in the same quantities, as those distributed to Syrian refugees in camps in Jordan – just a small amount of rice, beans, chickpeas, lentils, fish, oil and flour.

“By taking the Ration Challenge and eating the same rations as a Syrian refugee for one week, you will be able to help by actively supporting men, women and children fleeing violence and conflict in Syria and Ukraine, as well as other communities forced from their homes around the world. You are helping to create a world where people uprooted by conflict and disaster have a safe place to belong,” said Ruthann Richardson, Act for Peace.

More than 84 million people have fled their homes worldwide because of conflict and disaster, and that number is rising daily. Over the last 12 months, violent conflict has unfolded around the world, including in Gaza, Myanmar, Afghanistan and now in Ukraine, where more than 10 million people have fled their homes for safety.

The Ration Challenge began in 2014 with a small group of Australians who wanted to show refugees that we were with them, not against them. That first year about 100 people took part, and together they raised $60,000 – enough to feed 277 refugees for a year.

Since then, the Ration Challenge has captured the hearts and minds of more than 124,000 people who have signed up to take the Challenge around the world. Together, it has raised over $24 million AUD to support conflict and disaster affected communities. This year’s Challenge will take place between June 19-25.

“This year, we are looking for 4,000 Australians to take part and together, we are hoping to raise $900,000 which will help bring emergency food, healthcare, and life-saving support to people who need it most,” said Ms Richardson.

Alongside the Challenge, students across the country will also be participating in the Ration Challenge Schools Program which runs from June 20-24 and coincides with Refugee Week.

“We are anticipating schools to raise an additional $650,000 giving us a combined total of 1.5 million dollars raised here in Australia,” said Ms Richardson.

Jessica Halliday from Sydney, took part in last year’s Challenge. She said, “I have always been deeply passionate about the rights of people, especially refugees, but this challenge has allowed me to become more confident and vocal about creating change. I thank the Ration Challenge for further inspiring and encouraging me to move forward with this in the future.”

School teacher, Stephen Spiteri from Kinglsey, WA, is taking part in this year’s Challenge. He said, “For me it’s demonstrating to my kids, my colleagues, and my students that even the little things we can do – as small as the gestures are – can effect massive change for those in need. If you want to see change in the world, sometimes you need to be that change.”

Ms Richardson added, “We hope Australians will join us this year to make a united stance to help ease the plight of refugees, and to show them and the world, that together, we can make a difference.”

To register, visit: https://actforpeace.rationchallenge.org.au/signup

About Act for Peace
Act for Peace is the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, and empowers passionate people to work together to achieve safety, justice and dignity in communities threatened by conflict and disaster. Act for Peace works with local organisations in over 20 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific, providing food, shelter, education, healthcare and training to help some of the world’s most vulnerable communities take leadership in preparing for, responding to and recover from conflict and disaster.

Eat rations
For one week, you’ll eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan.

Once you receive your first donation (deadline June 5), we’ll send you a ration pack in the post.

Your rations include a one-week supply of exactly the same food – in almost exactly the same quantities – as those our local partner distributes to Syrian refugees in urban refugee camps in Jordan. The pack also includes food “coupons” for additional rice and flour, representative of the food coupons some refugees receive from other aid agencies.

From the moment you wake up on June 19, to when you go to bed on June 25, 2022, drink only water and eat:

  • Your allocation of rations
  • Any rewards you’ve earned
  • A multi-vitamin (optional)


Your rations include:

  • Rice: 420g
  • Lentils 170g
  • Dried chickpeas: 85g
  • Tinned sardines (or tofu): 120g
  • Tinned kidney beans: 400g
  • Vegetable oil: 300ml

Some refugees are given coupons by the UN or other organisations which can be exchanged in local shops for essentials like rice or flour to supplement people’s rations. To reflect this aspect of refugee life you’ll also be able to buy an additional 1.5kg of rice and 400g of plain flour to add to your rations.

Worldwide, there are more than 84 million refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people – the largest number since records began.

In the last 12 months, we have witnessed violent conflict and unrest unfold around the world, including in Afghanistan and most recently Ukraine. This year also marks the 11th anniversary of the conflict in Syria. In addition, we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in natural disasters and unpredictable weather patterns.

It’s a terrible injustice. And one that we can and must overcome. But how?

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