#RefugeeWeek2019 – Tales of Hope & Inspiration, Day Six

2.6 million people currently live in refugee camps around the world. These displaced people are stuck – unable to find somewhere safe to settle and earn a livelihood, but simply unable to go home. In the camps, refugees are surviving on meagre food supplies, sub-standard healthcare and in appalling conditions. Which is why one of our volunteers, a teacher called Sophie, is taking the Ration Challenge.

For the past week, Sophie has been living on rations similar to what a refugee would receive living on humanitarian aid in a refugee camp. She’s doing it to show refugees that she’s with them, and to raise money for Concern UK who run the initiative and provide food, hygiene kits, education and medical care to refugee camps.

Sophie’s ration pack contained 420g rice, 170g lentils, 85g dried chickpeas, 120g tinned sardines, 400g tinned kidney beans and 330ml vegetable oil. She was allowed an additional 1.5kg rice and 400g of plain flour to represent what can be bought with coupons that might be provided by the UN. She was also able to earn some additional herbs and spices by hitting fundraising targets – just as a refugee will be trying to earn a little extra cash to live on – but overall it’s not a very exciting selection of ingredients.

We’re very impressed with Sophie’s commitment – she says it’s been tough to find the energy to get through the days on such small rations with very little nutritional variation. And she is finding it very hard to go without coffee! You can donate to Sophie’s fundraising page, follow her journey and find out about taking the challenge yourself here: https://my.rationchallenge.org.uk/sophiemassey

At Refugee Action – Colchester we’re partnered with Care4Calais, and we organise trips to the camps just across the channel to donate food, clothes and all sorts of other supplies. You can get involved by organising a collection or volunteering on our trips to Calais and Dunkirk – do get in touch if you’re interested.

Please share this to let people know how they can help the millions of people – themselves teachers, students, children, mothers – living on camp rations.