This June, I’m taking part in the Refugee Ration Challenge, during which I’ll be living off the contents of a ration box given out in Jordanian refugee camps. They are as follows:
Rice – 1920g
Plain flour – 400g
Lentils – 170g
Dried chickpeas – 85g
Tinned sardines – 120g
Tinned kidney beans – 400g
Vegetable oil – 330ml
I’ve taken part in the challenge for the last two years and found it so eye opening both times. It helped me to personally understand just one of the many challenges faced by refugees, but more than that, it began so many really great conversations with people around me. I had conversations about food poverty on a wider scale, the power of food to affect mood and motivation, ways of supporting other people both financially and by checking in with people, and the immense privilege held by myself and everyone I personally know. It was such a great way of helping people to have a glimpse into just one of the multitude of difficulties faced by refugees around the world.
Since getting involved with RefuNet, I have become so much more aware of the struggles faced by refugees, even once they have left the camps and made it to the UK or other safe countries. This weekend I’ve been reading The Boy in the Back of the Class, by Onjali Q Rauf, which highlights the difficulties faced by refugees in the UK and the treatment they receive by politicians and the public. I have found that it is a great way of introducing older children to the subject while also proving that everyone has the power to make a difference in their own community.
As I prepare to take part in this, many asylum seekers currently living in the UK are this week without funds at all as the rollout of the government’s new funding cards (prepaid bank cards) has been unsuccessful, with many not arriving, not working or without any funds having been put on them. This means that families around the country are without any money at all while they wait. Asylum seekers living in the UK are entitled to only £39 per week as it is, and now they don’t even have that. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work and are unable to save with only £39 a week. Without any savings, many are now desperate and have been without money to buy food for over a week.
So, help me to show refugees, we stand together, and we support their cause.
If you would like to donate to my fundraiser, the link is here: https://www.rationchallenge.org.uk/ciddy-rose
If you are interested in taking part yourself, you can sign up here: Ration Challenge UK 2021