Karen from Act for Peace with Majdi. (c) Joel Pratley/Act for Peace

About the Ration Challenge

We’re a growing community of people standing up for refugees.

How the Ration Challenge started

Four years ago, Act for Peace staff members Ben Littlejohn and Karen McGrath visited a Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Cramped together in tiny bamboo shelters, people were going hungry because there wasn’t enough money to give rations to everyone. Ben and Karen were angry and ashamed by what they saw and knew that if people back home could understand what refugees were going through, they would want to do more to help. But how?

“From humble beginnings, we never could have imagined just what this growing community would achieve for refugees around the world,” – Karen

In 2014, they decided to try living on rations for a week and get sponsored to do it. Joined by 100 pioneering people, they put themselves in the shoes of refugees for seven days, raising awareness and $60,000 – enough to feed 277 refugees for a year. The Ration Challenge was born!

Join us!
In the three years since then, more than 25,000 people across Australia have signed up to survive on rations during Refugee Week in June. Together these incredible people and their generous sponsors have raised almost $6 million.
And importantly, by coming together and taking action, the Ration Challenge community is showing refugees we’re with them, not against them

Yes, I’m up for it!

Where the money goes

The money you raise by taking on the Ration Challenge will support people fleeing violence and conflict in Syria. You’ll help provide urgently-needed food rations, household items, medical care and psychosocial support.

You’ll also be supporting other conflict and disaster-affected communities and help to tackle the root causes of injustice by raising funds for Act for Peace’s emergency response, long-term development and advocacy programs.

Thanks to our previous Ration Challengers and the funds they raised, we’ve been able to distribute hygiene packs

… help fund monthly medical days

… and provide counselling and support to refugee children through education workshops.

Lilia’s story

Lilia lives in a tent in a Jordan refugee camp with her husband Ahed and their three young sons.

Back in Syria, they owned a house in Hama and worked on a farm but they had to leave everything behind and flee with their lives when their house was bombed in the war.

“Life was good and we felt comfortable and safe. We lived the most beautiful life. But when the war happened, we hated our life.”

In the winter, life in the tent is very cold. They try to prevent water from leaking into the tent and keep themselves warm, as best they can, with blankets.

Both Lilia and Ahed suffer from poor health, which makes it difficult for them to work. Ahed has a stomach ulcer and tuberculosis, but he does farm work when he can to try to support his family. Despite his best efforts, though, the family often go to bed hungry. Extra food rations are – literally – a lifeline for this family.

By taking part in the Ration Challenge, you could make a big difference for families like Lilia’s – families who’ve lost everything through no fault of their own, and whose future looks uncertain.

Yes, I’m up for it!

About Act for Peace

Today, there are more refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people worldwide than at any time since World War II. That’s more than 65 million people forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and disaster.

It’s a terrible injustice. And one that we can, and must, overcome.

We believe that when people all over the world work together, big changes really are possible. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to act in partnership with other passionate people, like you, across the globe to achieve safety, justice and dignity in communities threatened by conflict and natural disaster. We don’t think there is any task more important.

Read more about Act for Peace’s work here