Employees at Prestige Telecom Group in Gosport take on ration challenge to raise cash for refugees
IMAGINE living off just rice, flour, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and tinned sardines.
No coffee, tea or snacks. And especially no sweets, chocolate or takeaways.
That’s exactly what employees at a Gosport firm did to raise cash and awareness for refugees.
Six senior managers and directors of the Prestige Telecom Group, in Heritage Business Park, Heritage Way, took part in the Ration Challenge organised by charity Concern Worldwide.
One of those taking part was 26-year-old head of brand and image, Elliot Micallef.
He said: ‘The idea was to live on the same rations that a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan would be living on for a week to raise money for emergency food, hygiene kits and lifesaving support for those who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The six of us thought it was our duty to take part.
‘It was a way to test our bodies and a fantastic cause to raise as much money as possible for those less fortunate.’
This year’s Ration Challenge raised more than £1.5m overall, with Prestige Telecom Group raising an incredible £1,500.
During the week, they were allowed 1.92kg of rice, 400g flour, 170g dried lentils, 85g dried chickpeas, 120g tinned sardines, 400g kidney beans and 330ml vegetable oil.
Elliot said: ‘We were eating rice, rice, rice and more rice. Some of the people had a hidden talent in the kitchen so they could rustle up flatbreads with the flour and hummus with the chickpeas and lentil soup but for
most of us we had a simple bowl of rice with a spice.
‘After we received our ration challenges on day one, we realised how tough it must be for refugees across the world. We are privileged in the UK to have the amenities that we have to offer’.
‘We were extremely glad that it was only for a week and not for the rest of our lives like refugees globally.
‘No coffee, tea or snacks was difficult. It was extremely difficult. It was easy for the first three days, but after the fifth day the fatigue and hunger really kicked in. The last few days were the toughest, we were working Monday to
Friday so the Saturday (the last day of the challenge) when we were at home was the toughest day.’
Elliot said the challenge had not only raised vital funds for the charity, it had provided an opportunity to talk to people about the situation - and given all those participating an insight into the plight faced by refugees.
He said: ‘To think of how little, they have in comparison to what everyone eats was a real eye opener. Just finding out what conditions these refugees are living in would make any normal person more passionate about helping them.'
For more go to concern.org.uk