About the Ration Challenge

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

How the Ration Challenge started

Four years ago, Ration Challenge co-founders, 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.”

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 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.

In 2018, the Ration Challenge has partnered with Oxfam New Zealand to launch for the first time in New Zealand, giving Kiwis a powerful way to come together, take action and show 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, medicine and education.

You’ll also be supporting the work of Oxfam to improve the lives of people living in poverty around the world.

> Find out more about where the money goes

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 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’d like to take the Challenge!

About Oxfam New Zealand

Oxfam is a worldwide development organisation that mobilises the power of people against poverty. Together we can achieve a fairer world without poverty.

Oxfam is an international confederation of 20 organisations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries.

One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilising the power of people against poverty.

Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.

In all we do, Oxfam works with partner organisations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

> Read more about the refugee crisis here

> Read more about Oxfam NZ here