We’re here to help! We hope these FAQs cover everything you need to know but if you have any other questions please send us an email at info@rationchallenge.org.nz.

General FAQs

What are the rations?

We’ve designed the Ration Challenge to reflect, as closely as we can, what it’s like to eat rations as a Syrian refugee in Jordan. You are able to eat the food rations listed on your shopping list and any rewards you earn. The shopping list includes rice 1.92kg, flour 400g, lentils 170g, dried chickpeas 85g, tinned sardines 125g, tinned kidney beans 400g and vegetable oil 250ml. In your welcome pack, you’ll also find two food ‘coupons’ that are representative of the coupons many refugees are given by the UN or other organisations that can be exchanged in local shops for essential staple foods, such as rice and flour. These amounts are included on your shopping list too. Tip: don’t try to use your coupons at the supermarket, they won’t work!

Why is Ration Challenge New Zealand supporting an Australian charity?

Act for Peace founded the Ration Challenge in Australia in 2014. Since then, the Ration Challenge has launched in New Zealand, the UK and the USA. All funds raised by the Ration Challenge support refugees in Jordan, and other Act for Peace programs to achieve safety, justice and dignity in communities threatened by conflict and disaster around the world. For more information on the life-changing humanitarian, sustainable development and advocacy programs you’re making possible, please visit our website: actforpeace.org.au

I thought Oxfam New Zealand were involved last year – why are they not taking part?

Kiwis are passionate about supporting refugees – and for years, Kiwis were signing up to the Australian version of the Ration Challenge, founded in 2014 by Act for Peace (an Australian NGO). We wanted to enable even more Kiwis to take part, so in 2018 we partnered with Oxfam to promote the Ration Challenge and support challengers to take part in New Zealand – and an incredible 6,700 people signed up here! This year, Oxfam will be concentrating on other activities and Act for Peace will be promoting the campaign and supporting Ration Challengers in New Zealand directly. There’s still a New Zealand specific campaign, so the website, resources and information you receive are designed for New Zealand, but when you contact the team or make a donation, you’ll be helped by an Act for Peace staff member instead of an Oxfam New Zealand staff member.

How do I receive my ration pack?

All you have to do is sign up and we’ll send your ration pack straight to you. This includes your toolkit, recipe book, posters and items to help you store the rations you purchase.

Is there a vegetarian/vegan ration pack?

We are asking participants to source their own ingredients for their ration packs, so please substitute the sardines on the list for another 125g protein alternative, e.g. tofu (or other alternative of your choice).

Where does the money go?

The money you raise will provide food rations, medical care, education and other essential support to Syrian refugees living in Jordan, and help other conflict and disaster-affected communities around the world. By taking part in the Ration Challenge, you’ll be supporting people in urgent need as well as helping to tackle the root causes of injustice through Act for Peace’s emergency response, long-term development and advocacy programs.

Act for Peace has programs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific and Australia. Find out more about the incredible difference you’re making at actforpeace.org.au

Act for Peace works for safety, justice and dignity for all people and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

When is the Ration Challenge in 2019?

The Ration Challenge is held in Refugee Week, from Sunday 16 June – Sunday 23 June 2019. You start the Challenge when you wake up on the morning of Sunday 16 June and finish when you wake up on Sunday 23 June (not the Saturday night).

I’m busy 16-23 June. Can I do the Ration Challenge at a different time?

Yes! You can do the Challenge whenever you choose. Many people do the Ration Challenge early due to work, school or family commitments.

What happens if I slip up during the challenge and break the rules? Can I still continue?

The challenge we’ve set is to eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee for the full seven days (or 2-5 days for students), and we’re encouraging everyone to aim for this goal. However, if you do slip up and break a rule, you can make a penalty donation of at least $50 to your fundraising page and then continue with the Challenge. The Ration Challenge works on an honesty policy, so only you and your conscience will know if you break the rules!

How can I track the postage of my Ration Pack?

We’ll send you a Ration Pack when you sign up. Most packs will arrive within 2 weeks (excluding remote areas). You should also receive an email with a tracking code for your pack (make sure to check your junk email). If it has been longer than 2 weeks, please contact us and we can check to see what has happened.

How much of the money goes to refugees?

In the past financial year, 70% of funds raised for Act for Peace went to supporting our international and domestic programs that benefit communities threatened by conflict and natural disaster. A large part of this went to specifically supporting refugees, including Syrian refugees in Jordan, where Act for Peace distributes rations almost identical to the rations you’ll be eating during the Ration Challenge.

Around 20% of our expenditure was invested in fundraising – fundraising is important so that we can generate the donations that drive our vital work around the world. It also includes the cost of gaining long-term supporters. And 10% was spent on accountability and administration – this is essential to the day-to-day running of the organisation, and includes our supporter relations, finance, administration, HR and management teams.

Learn more about the difference you are making by getting involved with the Ration Challenge, and the difference Act for Peace’s project partners are making in the world, by reading through our Annual Report. By partnering with passionate people like you, we’re working to achieve safety, justice and dignity in communities around the world threatened by conflict and natural disaster. These reports also provide financial breakdowns showing how funds are used in our work overseas and here in Australia.

What if I feel ill during the Ration Challenge?

If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a medical professional before taking part. If you feel ill during the Ration Challenge, cease participation immediately and see a doctor.

What is the nutritional value of the ration packs?

When you have filled your ration pack, the calorie content of the food eaten during the Challenge (i.e. the contents of the ration pack provided plus the specified additional rice and flour) is below 1,738 kcal/person/day. This does not meet the Sphere Minimum Standard of 2,100 kcal/person/day. It is also not consistent with the daily calorie requirements of an average adult recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

I’m pregnant, can I take part?

It is recommended that pregnant women do not take part in the Challenge as they have additional dietary requirements that the rations do not meet.

I’m under 18, can I still take part?

Yes, but you can only take part in the Ration Challenge as part of a school- or family-organised activity, fully supervised by a teacher, parent or guardian (they’ll need to register on your behalf).

Can I exercise during the challenge?

We don’t recommend that you dramatically increase your physical activity levels during the Challenge due to the additional nutritional requirements that exercising may have. If you exercise regularly in normal circumstances, it is recommended that you reduce the level of physical exertion you undertake during the Challenge.

Can I do the challenge for longer than a week?

No, it is not recommended that participants exceed the one-week duration of the Challenge.

How can I contact the team to get more support?

Have a question for us? You might find what you’re looking for on our FAQS page, or:

– Call us on 1800 025 101
– Email us at info@actforpeace.org.au
– Post your question on the New Zealand Facebook Group
– Send us a Facebook Inbox message at: https://www.facebook.com/ActforPeace/

Can I use my rewards throughout the week?

Yes! Use your rewards throughout the week EXCEPT the bonus item which is to be eaten in one single serving as a treat. All other rewards you can add to each meal as you wish until they run out.

What is a spice?

We define a spice as one aromatic or pungent vegetable substance used to flavour food that has been ground.  For example, cumin seeds need to become a powder before they are considered a spice. This does not include a mix of multiple spices (for example a Mediterranean spice mix with 7+ spices).

Items that are considered a spice:

Ground chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground paprika, ground ginger, ground turmeric, or ground cayenne pepper.

Items that are not considered a spice:

Salt, dehydrated meats, ‘wet’ substances, vegetables in their original form (garlic, etc).

Can rewards be shared?

Can spice be shared?

If you are in a team you can share your earned spices WHEN you are cooking together in person. The reason we have made this rule as families are often able to share foods when they cook together, but are not able to do so unless they are physically together.

Can other rewards be shared?

When in a team and you are physically cooking together, your other food rations can be shared. If you are not in a team or not cooking together, you are not able to share your food rations or rewards.

How can I earn teabags?

You can earn one teabag for every five people you directly message. This means sending out five individual emails, Whatsapps, or facebook messages asking one person to sponsor you. Alternatively, you can post on Facebook and individually TAG five people in on post directly asking them all to donate! One post with five TAGS equates to one teabag, and you can then do this action up to ten times – asking the same people if they haven’t donated after a few days, or different people straight away.

Teabags work on an honesty-based policy and so it’s up to you to do the right thing, and work out how many tea bags you’ve truly earned.

What can I choose for my rewards?

What type of teabags can I use?

The teabags are supposed to be basic teabags (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, etc) and not a luxury tea such as fruit mixes, spiced chai, etc. You may use any tea leaf.

What type of salt can I use?

The salt is intended to be a basic item. You may use what you deem a basic salt but we highly recommend this not be a fancy salt mix contained many ingredients. For example we would say YES to basic rock salt but NO to a Salt mix containing salt, pepper and spices.

What vegetables am I allowed?

You may use 170g of any ONE fresh vegetable, and this can be used across your week as you like. The weight is when uncooked and can NOT be the dehydrated weight.

What protein can I use?

You may use any 120g of any one protein, weighed prior to cooking. This protein can be enjoyed across your week. The weight is when uncooked and can NOT be the dehydrated weight.

What hot or cold drink can I use?

You may enjoy any ONE hot or cold drink (alcohol included) of your choice. You should drink this in one sitting and it should be no more than 330mL.

What can my bonus item be?

Your bonus item should be one item, and not made of different components (for example a hamburger has a bun and a burger and lettuce and cheese). Instead, it should be one item, for example, chocolate, or cheese, a yoghurt, or an avocado. It can be anything up to the value of $5, and it should be one single serving (not a HUGE bag of chips) that is enjoyed in one sitting.

Your bonus item can be: A glass of wine, a chocolate bar, a piece of fruit, an expresso, a muffin, a small bag of chips, a cookie, etc.Your bonus item can NOT be: A carton of eggs, a pumpkin you use throughout the whole week, a family size bag of chips, a family size chocolate bar, a meal deal.

How do I get the gift from Jordan?

When you’ve raised over $2,500, you earn a very special Ration Challenge gift from Jordan made by the women in our small business program. We will be posting these items out after the Ration Challenge and it will arrive with you within a month of the Challenge finishing.