The ration challenge

Friday, May 18, 2018
Arts academics at Avondale eat less, raise more for Syrian refugees in Jordan

Arts academics at Avondale have raised $4550 for vulnerable communities by eating in a week only the food Syrians refugees in Jordan would eat.

Led by Lynnette Lounsbury, Drs Lisa Clark Diller, Lindsay Morton and Brad Watson from the Discipline of Humanities and Creative Arts, as well as student Stephanie Barber, ate just a small amount of rice, flour, lentils, chick peas, beans, fish and oil and drank just water.

Despite the variety, Watson expected the challenge to be difficult. He has firsthand experience of life inside a refugee camp. “Rations then were just white rice and oil, so children were anaemic and couldn’t concentrate.” But after receiving the Ration Challenge box, he remembers feeling “shocked at how small it was.”

The five completed the challenge over seven days in 2017 and are now not so quick to take their food—and access to a variety of it—for granted. Except rice. “It was off the menu for a while,” says Morton. Lounsbury had similar feelings. “I started to hate rice. Really hate rice. By day three, I got bored of the same food. Then I got hungry and started to crave other food.” The lack of nutrients had an impact. “You can get by on quite a little, but you don’t feel great. We all felt very low on energy and foggy.”

The Ration Challenge explores only one area of the limitations faced by the refugees. “Only our diet was limited,” says Stephanie Barber, who is completing a Bachelor of Arts minoring in International Poverty and Development Studies. “We had access to many other luxuries Syrians living in Jordon don’t.”

The Ration Challenge by Act for Peace, an international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, provides food, medicine and education for refugees and supports other communities around the world threatened by conflict and disaster. Held during Refugee Week, the challenge runs from June 17 to 24 this year.

Ration Challenge

Take the Ration Challenge and show refugees you are with them, not against them.




Holly Baensch

Holly Baensch is a Bachelor of Arts (Communication) student at Avondale College of Higher Education.

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