A few months ago I signed up to be apart of the 2019 Ration challenge where I will eat and drink the same as a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan. I will find out first hand over the course of a week, what is like to live on rations. I will consume and drink no other sustenance and survive only on the same rations, and the same quantities that the Syrian refugees receive.
I am hoping to raise money to prove life changing support to conflict and disaster affected communities world wide. Hopefully sharing my experience publicly, will open the public's eyes, hearts and minds to what refugees go through; creating a more compassionate world.
The main difference difference is while I only have a week's supply for one person, an actual ration pack will contains month's supply of food for a family of six.
The other big difference is sometimes there isn't enough money to give ration packs to everyone who needs them. Sometimes only 100 ration packs are provided in a camp that needs thousands. Often times packs get shared, and many go without. It is main reason why my ration pack is missing a few other ingredients that go in a real ration pack- Most refugees themselves go without a full pack.
One other difference is that when I signed up the ration pack was to include sardines. I could not eat sardines even if I wanted to. I hated them, so I opted to omit the 4 oz. of sardines and instead have opted for 4 oz of shelf- stable beef sticks.
My Ration packed also included food coupons for additional rice and flour. They are representative of the coupons that many refugees are given by the UN or other organizations that can be exchanged in local shops for essential staple foods such as rice and flour. To recreate this experience I took the allocated amounts of 3lb 3oz or rice and 14oz or flour to add to my rations from my pantry. I don't think that Tops or Wegmans would accept this coupon.
Refugees are resourceful people who do their best to find ways to provide for their families. This is made harder by tight work restrictions they face in places like Jordan. However, some refugees are able to find ways to support their families though informal work, trading items and handicrafts. This is why the there is a rewards system incorporated as part of the ration challenge, that can be earned as fundraising targets are met. In essence, the more that is raised for this meaningful cause, the more that can be consumed.
If you would like to sponsor me in completing the ration challenge, you can donate online here or you can mail a check payable to CWS Ration Challenge P.O. Box 968 Elkhart, IN 46515
I plan to post daily over the course of the Ration Challenge week so you can keep updated on my progress.
Cristina Glover Administrative Assistant at Hamburg United Methodist Church
A 116 Union St Hamburg NY 14075