June 9, 2021

According to the The UN Refugee Agency, at least 79.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. 

26 million of these people are refugees, around half of whom are under 18 years old. 

Each year, people across the country come together from 14 to 20 June to celebrate Refugee Week; an annual festival recognising the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Ration Challenge

International humanitarian organisation, Concern, has partnered with the Ration Challenge to run a fundraising campaign.

The initiative challenges people to eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee for one week in order to raise money and save lives.

Deputy Head of Business, Leadership and Management at University Centre Leeds, Sarah Cook, has taken up the challenge to understand more about what life is like for a refugee.

“I was keen to take this opportunity to recognise the challenges that refugees face. One of my students, Nijam Mohammed, is a Rohingya refugee and we have often discussed his experiences of his time in a large refugee camp. 

“Refugees are living a nightmare; they have nothing and are displaced from their homes. It’s so important to do what we can to support them and understand their struggles. We can help not only by taking challenges like this, but also listening to the experiences of our students here at University Centre Leeds.

“From the moment I wake up on 13 June until 19 June, I will eat only 420g rice, 170g lentils, 85g dried chickpeas, 120g tinned sardines, 400g tinned kidney beans and 330ml vegetable oil.”

The money raised through the challenge will fund programmes to provide emergency food, healthcare and other essential support to the people hit hardest by this crisis.

As part of the week, Sarah will be signposting students to support and information in order for them to learn more about the plight of refugees.

To sponsor Sarah, please visit rationchallenge.org.uk/sarah-cook