Ration Challenge 2017

Act for Peace Ration Challenge

I decided to take part in the Act for Peace Ration Challenge, to raise awareness of just how little a Syrian refugee eats in a week. The point of the challenge is to not only eat the small amount that they do, but to also raise as much money as you possibly can to help these refugees. The bonus is, the more money you raise, the more you get to eat, which is certainly an incentive to raise more money!

I began my journey on 18 May when I signed up and created my donation page. From that moment onwards I have been actively promoting the challenge by telling all my family and friends about it, sending emails and sharing information on Facebook. It was a tough week, but the money I raised was totally worth it!

Here is my week of living on the same rations as a Syrian refugee.

Sunday 18 June

Sunday was my prep day. After buying all my bonus food, I got to cooking and preparing my meals.

This is what I had to work with:

  • 420g of rice
  • 170g of lentils
  • 85g of dried chickpeas
  • 125g tinned sardines
  • 400g tinned kidney beans
  • 300ml vegetable oil

Bonus Food:

  • Additional 1.5kg rice
  • 400g of flour
  • A spice of your choice
  • 8 tea bags
  • 2 teaspoons of instant coffee
  • 50g of sugar
  • 70g milk powder
  • 120g of a vegetable (your choice-I chose broccoli)
  • 170g of protein (your choice-I chose 2 eggs)

I made 1kg of rice with kidney beans, falafels with the chickpeas and a little bit of the flour, lentil soup and flatbread with the flour (mixed with water to make a dough and then pan fried). I used a TINY bit of the sardines in my rice because I wasn’t really keen on them.

Monday 19 June

Day one began with a piece of flat bread and a green tea and I won’t lie, the flat bread didn’t make me feel the best. I think it’s because it’s so dense, just being flour and rice, so my stomach was a little sore and I didn’t love it. For lunch I ate a small serving of the rice with kidney beans, which wasn’t too bad and I was feeling okay at this point (despite the large amounts of cakes and sweets in the office). Dinner was three tablespoons of lentil soup and a falafel, safe to say I was quite hungry when going to bed.

Tuesday 20 June

I decided to start the day off with only half a piece of flat bread (about two bites), to avoid the stomach pains of yesterday, though an hour later I was starving. I pushed myself through morning tea with a green tea and waited until lunch to have my rice and beans. I mostly felt good today and after my dinner (an egg and falafel), I went to bed feeling satisfied.

Wednesday 21 June and Thursday 22 June

Oh yep, the sugar cravings finally arrived during these two days! All I wanted at this point was to eat a whole watermelon to myself (or a whole block of Cadbury chocolate, either way). I was also starting to get sick of rice and beans so I tried to avoid them. I mainly ate a little bit of my broccoli, lentil soup, falafels and flatbread, as well as tea and coffee with a little milk.

It was during these two days that I started to struggle, but this was also the point that I realised why I was doing the ration challenge in the first place. I was beginning to understand how difficult it is to live on the bare minimum and therefore how important our contribution really is.

Friday 23 June

Unfortunately, Friday was the last ‘proper’ day of the challenge for me. The reason for this is because I had family events on Saturday and Sunday that I couldn’t avoid and of course included eating out.

By Friday I was feeling very light and not very hungry at all. I was still eating half a piece of flat bread for breakfast and about ¼ of a cup of rice for lunch. Although I officially finished the challenge today, I continued to eat the rations on Saturday and Sunday when I could. The hardest thing for me during these last days was actually going back to regular food. I didn’t eat foods that were fatty or rich, however everything I ate made me feel sick and just did not agree with my stomach, obviously because I had been eating such plain food for a week!

Overall I found the challenge to be extremely eye opening and at times quite difficult. I think we often take for granted how lucky we really are and how little we understand about other people and the hardships they face every single day. We also often underestimate the importance of food and having access to whatever food we desire. Food provides us with the energy to live, to work and to function, without it our bodies are slower, we feel lethargic and have no energy to function, as I experienced this week.

I finished the challenge extremely proud as I raised $791.80, which will provide a year’s worth of rations for two refugees ($600), as well as provide four young girls with an education ($145) and one refugee with rations for two months ($54). I would have loved to hit the $1000 mark, but that can be a challenge for next year!

I strongly encourage you all to take on the Act for Peace Ration Challenge in 2018, our contribution is so important in helping those less fortunate then ourselves, while also raising awareness for how Syrian Refugees live.


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