The Ration Challenge Story

Co-founders Kaz McGrath and Ben Littlejohn started the Ration Challenge in 2014 during a visit to a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. They had met with refugees and seen first-hand their meagre rations refugees had to survive on but even then they couldn’t imagine what it must be like to actually survive on them.

The very first Challenge

Kaz and Ben were certain that if people could understand what refugees were going through, they’d want to do more to help. So they decided to try living on rations to see for themselves what it was like. It was then that the Ration Challenge was born.

Joined by 100 pioneering and courageous people, and without really knowing what to expect, they set out to survive on exactly the same rations as Burmese refugees during Refugee Week in June 2014 and asked friends and family to sponsor them.

Since then more than 40,000 people have been inspired to take up the Challenge and collectively raised more than $10 million to support refugees around the world.

“It was tough, really tough. But we were only experiencing one small part of the suffering that refugees experience every day. It opened our eyes to how difficult it is to be a refugee, and gave us a new respect for people around the world who are doing it so tough.”


It all started here!


Two people sparked an idea, 100 dedicated people got behind it and raised more than $65,000 – enough to feed 255 refugees for an entire year. The Ration Challenge was born.


In its second year, more than 1,600 people took the Challenge from all across Australia and raised nearly $500,000.


Around 8,000 Ration Challengers raised nearly $2.3 million. The word was spreading – people took part from all over the world including the UK, USA, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium and India.


The movement was making noise in Australia. Nearly $3.5 million raised by 15,000 Challengers. By raising your voices far and wide, you reached more than 23 million people online! Talk about people power!


Last year, we launched in New Zealand with dedicated people like you. More than 7,000 Kiwis signed up to take part, raising an incredible $680,000. We also launched into Australian schools, and more than 2,000 students showed just how much they care!


The momentum of this community is continuing to grow and grow. This year we’ve partnered with Concern Worldwide UK and CWS USA to bring the challenge to the UK and the USA, giving people a chance to make a difference globally.