Refugee week: Inverell's Francis McPhee accepted the Ration Challenge and will eat like a refugee

Rice, lentils, chick peas, sardines, kidney beans, flour vegetable oil and a tin of sardines in a package that’s the size of a shoe box.

It’s not much, but that is what Inverell resident Francis McPhee will be eating from June 20 to June 28 as part of the Act for Peace –Ration Challenge to raise money for refugees. The global initiative is planned for Refugee Week (June 18-24).

The aim is to raise money and awareness. “So many people are in need, but the recent bombings in Syria, and having a friend working in the Jordan refugee camps have prompted me to take on the 2017 Refugee Challenge,” says Mr McPhee. “That is, living off the same amount and type of food that a person would eat over a week in a Jordan refugee camp.” 

At the end of the week, he will stop his challenge. But refugees will continue to eat on meager rations for months, perhaps years. 

“They are hungry, thirsty and scared, struggling to survive without food medicine and clean water,” says Mr McPhee. “Various charitable organisations are doing tremendous ground work, but as always it is through the compassion and generosity of ordinary people that this work can continue.”

To raise awareness and money to help refugees, Mr McPhee will represent the town in the challenge. He hopes to raise $500, however sponsorship has been slow.

“Please sponsor me to take this challenge, and donate whatever you can,” he urges. “The money you give will help provide urgently needed food rations, healthcare, and education to help give Syrian refugees the strength they need to cope. It will also help many other refugees around the world to build safe, just and dignified lives, now and in the future.”

“A dollar doesn’t go far in a day, but for 78 cents you can feed a person, you can supply 54 people with free drinking water – and for an extra 20 cents you can save a child’s life,” says Mr McPhee.

“Imagine what you can do for the price of a cup of coffee!” he says. “Please share your loose change. You can spread life and hope where non exists.” 

To support Francis McPhee in his action for refugees, visit his Ration Challenge page (


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