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 Kaz 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 home 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.”
Kaz McGrath

In 2014 down under in Australia, they decided to try living on rations for a week and get sponsored to do it. Joined by 100 pioneering Australians, they put themselves in the shoes of refugees for seven days, raising awareness and $60,000 – 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 have signed up from countries around the world to survive on rations during World Refugee Week in June. Together these incredible people and their generous sponsors have raised more than $7 million.

In 2019, the Ration Challenge has partnered with CWS to launch for the first time in the USA, giving Americans 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 on 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.

We’ll also use the funds to support the ongoing work of CWS to help vulnerable people rebuild their lives in safety.

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 CWS

We have one goal: building a world where there is enough for all

After seven decades moving towards this goal, CWS has the faith and experience to know it’s possible. Working around the world, we’ve seen gardens flourishing in barren land. Migrants and refugees finding a home even after every door has been closed. Houses standing strong against nature’s worst disasters. That’s the power of your compassion at work when it links to human resilience.

CWS was born in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Today, there are more refugees and displaced people worldwide than at any other time since then.

Today CWS supports refugees and displaced communities around the world through our Immigration and Refugee Program, having resettled nearly half a million refugees since its inception. From the 1950s to the present day, CWS has worked across the United States, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America to support those most in need.

Working with local partners

We believe local people are best placed to identify the problems faced by their communities and create solutions that work. So we partner with local organisations on the ground to achieve change. We’re also one of the founding members of the ACT Alliance, a global network of 140 organizations across 130 countries working together to share knowledge and resources, speak with a louder voice and, ultimately, achieve more impact.

Read more about the refugee crisis here

Read more about CWS here