Lancaster man to eat 'like a refugee' for week to raise cash for charity

A Lancaster man will be living on refugee rations for a week to raise awareness and funds to help those in need.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 3:45 pm
Aftab Gujral.

The Ration Challenge asks those taking part to eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee for one week, in a bid to raise money and save lives.

The money raised will help bring emergency food, healthcare and life-saving support to people who need it most.

Those taking part are given a ration box containing just 170g of lentils, 420g og rice, 85g of dried chickpeas, a 400g tin of kidney beans, a can of sardines, and 330ml of vegetable oil to use for seven days' worth of meals.

There’s also the option of coupons to buy a little bit of extra flour or rice, similar to the vouchers aid agencies might give out. And if you hit certain fundraising targets, a reward of one £3 voucher (to spend on one item) or five tea bags is given.

The NGO Concern Worldwide organises the challenge, with all funds raised helping to pay for emergency food, hygiene kits and other support for refugees in Jordan

Aftab Gujral, 63, will be taking part for the third time when it kicks off on June 13.

Last year he said he experienced tiredness and brain fog for a few days on the very restricted diet when he first took part, but was more prepared for the 2020 challenge.

“I normally drink coffee and so I had really bad caffeine withdrawal symptoms in the first two days, really bad headaches,” he said. “It’s not the most nutritious diet at all, it fills you up with carbs but there isn’t much in the way of minerals and vitamins, no vegetables."

He added: "I am taking the challenge to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees and to raise money for them.

"It seems a very small thing to do compared with the suffering they go through. Hopefully, one day, this won't be necessary."

Aftab has also written a guide for people who want to participate in the challenge and collected recipes which they can use during it.

Aftab has so far raised almost £1,300. You can donate online here and find out more about the event here.