Students helping to turn the tide

05 August 2021

Topics: Jordan "Ration Challenge" Schools

We’re over halfway through 2021 and still adapting to a world with COVID-19. The latest series of lockdowns across the country is again putting many livelihoods and businesses at risk, and we're all just doing our best to cope in these uncertain times.

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the current situation, remember that you can always find hope through the stories of our community. 

Because step by step, positive change really is happening…


Christian Brothers Highschool Lewisham takes part in the Ration Challenge for the fourth year. Guy Threlfo/Act for Peace

When the students at Christian Brothers Highschool Lewisham joined us for this year’s Act for Peace Ration Challenge, they weren’t quite prepared for how it would impact them. 

The Ration Challenge is an annual event where supporters eat the same rations as a refugee for one week and raise money to help bring emergency food, healthcare and life-saving support to those who need it most.

Some were excited to cook by themselves, some wanted the personal challenge of raising money, while others signed up to support their friends.

But after a week of eating the same rations as a refugee – dealing with the low energy levels, the lack of nutrients, and the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was eating this same diet for months, even years on end – something switched. 

They felt empathy. They felt compassion. And importantly, they felt hope. 

When we asked the students at the end of the challenge what message they would like to send to the refugees they were raising money to support, their responses were heartwarming and brought a smile to my face this week.

I’ll let their words speak for themselves…

“I would say to the refugees that we are with them and supportive of their cause. I would also tell them that things will get better and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

“The most important thing is hope and that if they lose hope, then there is nothing else to lose. So, I encourage them to keep hoping for a better future because I am certain that it can get better.”

“Regardless of how it feels, there are always people that are concerned about you. You aren’t forgotten and things will change eventually.”

The students, together with thousands of other people around the world taking the Ration Challenge, raised an incredible $3.5 million last month to support communities affected by conflict and disaster - including those hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 

When the world feels overwhelming, these stories from our passionate community are a reminder that the tide really can change. When we come together and create empathy and compassion through initiatives like the Ration Challenge, step by step we really can make a difference.