JPC Community Ration Challenge to help Refugees
2019 Act for Peace Ration Challenge
Mrs. Nicola Edghill
Leader of Learning and Wellbeing
Mission and Ministry – St John Paul II College
This week is Refugee Week, a week where Australia recognises the contribution of refugees, and highlights the many challenges they face in our world.
The first Refugee Week events were organised in Sydney in 1986. The Refugee Council of Australian took on responsibility for the national coordination of a week recognising the contribution of refugees, and it became officially identified around Australia as an annual event in 1988.
The dream of the Refugee Council of Australia was to create a global annual celebration of the contribution of refugees. This dream was achieved in 2001, when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees coordinated the first World Refugee Day, and this day is now recognised on June 20 each year.
As part of our ongoing commitment to encourage our students to put their faith into action, JPC once again participated in the Act for Peace Ration Challenge this year.
To demonstrate our solidarity with the world’s 25 million refugees, our team made a choice to live on the refugee rations typically provided in camps throughout Syria and Jordan.
For a period of 3-7 days, team members prepared simple meals based only on the contents of their individual boxes. This is no mean feat, and there were many obstacles to surviving the challenge from forgetting to soak chick peas, to overcooking rice; not to mention the lack of variety, and limited quantities of food.
It is a credit to this year’s team that they have managed to raise an astounding $9, 190.00 to date. This well and truly exceeded our goal of $5000, and shows the generosity of the community in supporting this significant social justice event. Here’s some insight into why they did it!
Bronte Froome – Year 12
I am participating in the 2019 ration challenge to not only challenge myself but to also really raise awareness on the more unheard-of life of refugees.
Often, the Australian media pays special attention to the negative impacts of refugees on society, and the struggles of the individual and families on the search for refuge.
I wanted to focus on the lives in the refugee camps and the continuing mistreatment of refugees. We often take for granted what we have on our doorstep and the close access we have to life’s necessities.
Through my participation in the ration challenge, I have learnt just that, how much I take what I have for granted and just how great chocolate does taste. I would recommend the ration challenge to anyone wanting to really push themselves.
Mrs. Mordike – Support Staff
I’m doing this because it is a direct action I can do to help refugees. I have become much more conscious of what I am eating, and I have noticed just how much I usually snack during the day – a cracker here, a piece of fruit there, a grape or two from the fridge – and also just how many cups of tea I usually drink!
A Quaker lady I met last weekend said she is doing the ration challenge as part of living simply. I really like this, and I have been thinking on how I can live more simply as I cook the very simple meals.
“Live simply, so that others may simply live”. I made the flatbreads last night – YUMMO! They remind me of damper on the fire when camping.
Mrs. Edghill – Teaching staff
This is my 4th year of the Ration Challenge, and it feels like the toughest year. The monotony of the limited ingredients, the lack of caffeine, and the lack of flavor really gets to you after a few days.
But I’m doing the challenge again because my conscience compels me to ‘walk the walk’. I have the opportunity to teach about social justice, and to help my students to learn about the part they can play in creating a just world, but this makes it all feel more tangible.
The empathy I feel for refugees during this challenge is hard to describe, but it comes from knowing that I have a choice to do this, and my week will end. For so many of the world’s refugees, those options just don’t exist.
Thank you to the JPC community for their support, and to our amazing Ration Challengers for 2019:
- Josh Backwell – Year 7
- Rosie Campbell – Year 8
- Justina Vijay – Year 9
- Ivy Keating – Year 9
- Nicholas Hannemann – Year 10
- Audrey Litster – Year 10
- Thomas Withers – Year 12
- Sharee Mudaliar – Year 12
- Bronte Froome – Year 12
- Jarrod Koenig – Year 12
- And our amazing staff – Mrs. Mordike, Mrs. Tually, Dr. Afghan, Mr. Bourke and Miss Mostyn
This is a fantastic achievement. Good on you JPC!
It’s great to see Catholic social justice is alive and well in our schools. Congratulations to all the students and teachers involved at JPC and in other schools. Keep up the good work, including agitating for policy change with Australian Governments in relation to the cruel offshore detention of asylum seekers