About the Ration Challenge

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

The Ration Challenge story

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 in Australia 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 £32,000 – enough to feed 277 refugees for a year. The Ration Challenge was born!

Join us!
In the four years since then, more than 40,000 people around the world have signed up to survive on rations during Refugee Week in June. Together these incredible people and their generous sponsors have raised more than £5 million.

In 2019, the Ration Challenge has partnered with Concern Worldwide UK to launch for the first time in the UK, giving people a powerful way to come together, take action and show refugees we’re with them not against them.

Read more about the Ration Challenge story here.

Where the money goes

The money you raise by taking the Ration Challenge will help support Syrian refugees living in camps in Jordan, having fled eight years of conflict and violence in their own country.

You will help provide food rations, medicine and education for Syrian refugees; and support the wider work of Concern Worldwide UK to tackle hunger and extreme poverty amongst the most vulnerable people in the world’s poorest places.

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 Concern Worldwide UK

Concern Worldwide UK works in the world’s poorest places to tackle hunger and help transform lives.

Concern Worldwide knows hunger affects everything for the world’s poorest people. We believe no one should have to live with hunger and the damage it does. That’s why we’re working for a world in which no one dies for want of safe, quality, nutritious food.

A large part of our work happens before a disaster ever strikes and involves building community resilience and reducing risks for the most vulnerable. Many of the countries where Concern Worldwide works are highly vulnerable to emergencies and shocks as a result of conflict and natural disasters.

Our mandate is to respond rapidly to save lives and reduce suffering. We’ve supported hundreds of thousands of people affected by the Syrian crisis in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

Our mission

Our mission is to help people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives which last and spread without ongoing support from Concern.

To achieve this mission, we engage in long-term development work, build resilience, respond to emergency situations, and seek to address the root causes of poverty through our development, education and advocacy work.

Read more about the refugee crisis here

Read more about Concern Worldwide UK here