Rations for a week

COMMITTED: Emma Page will live on refugee rations for a week. Photo supplied.

Most people would run a mile if asked to give up coffee for a week but one local woman is up for the challenge.

She won’t just be giving up coffee either. No cereal for breakfast, no sandwich for lunch, no sugary afternoon treats and certainly no wine after work at the end of the week.

Instead, she’ll be living on 1kg of rice, 300g each of chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, flour and 425g of fish. Add to that 40g of salt and 200ml of vegetable oil for five days and you’ve got rations equivalent to what someone living in a refugee camp has to survive on for a week.

It’s bland, it doesn’t sound appetising and it’s certainly not much, but for the nearly 5 million Syrians currently registered as refugees, it’s reality.

Howick resident Emma Page will be taking part in Operation Refugee – a five day fundraising event that challenges participants to forgo their healthy first world diet to raise awareness and funds for those who are displaced in refugee camps in war zones around the globe.

The challenge is run by Christian World Service, an organisation that provides disaster response and fundraises for countries in need.

Ms Page said she’s feeling confident about the experience, albeit slightly hesitant.

“I feel confident now but in terms of the amount of food, I haven’t restricted my diet that significantly before so I’m sure by the second or third day I’ll be feeling it.”

She said there were a number of reasons why she decided to participate in this year’s challenge.

“It breaks my heart that there’s children in Syria that have only ever known war, [and] families living in awful conditions.

“Even though I’m half way across the world, if I can do something to restore hope into someone’s life…it’s an awesome cause.”

Ms Page said while it will be hard, it will be worth it.

“It’s such a short period of time and I know after those five days are up, it’s over but for them there is no end in sight. They don’t know when it will end.”