Northants mum's week-long challenge to eat the same as a Syrian refugee to help raise awareness

Amanda with all the food she has for the entire week.Amanda with all the food she has for the entire week.
Amanda with all the food she has for the entire week.
For seven days, Amanda has been given tiny portions of six 'bland' foods

A mum from Northamptonshire is taking on a gruelling challenge that means she is eating very little everyday to raise awareness of the refugee crisis.

Amanda Buehling, from Brackley, is on day three of her seven day challenge whereby she eats only what a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan would be given.

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For the whole week, the mum-of-two was sent 420g of rice, 170g lentils, 85g of chickpeas, 125g of sardines, 400g of kidney beans and 330ml of vegetable oil.

Concern Worldwide runs the challenge and sends the food out with recipe cards, which includes over boiling rice so it is starchy and baking it in the oven to make it crispy.

The 33-year-old said: “I have kids so when I see small children coming over in boats it affects me so I wanted to do something.

“The rations are even less than I thought they would be. I thought it would be hard, but it’s even harder than I thought.

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“I feel so tired, my energy levels are really low and the food is all really bland, even though I can add spices.

“On the first day I had a really bad headache, which I think was due to the lack of sugar.”

Amanda, who says she is ‘constantly thinking about food’, is almost halfway through her challenge and is keeping herself going by thinking about the delicious food she will eat when it is over - a luxury she appreciates refugees do not have.

She added: “Caffeine withdrawals, hunger and 'hangriness' are all real, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster, but this is real life for some and not just a weeks challenge.

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“The wealth divide in society really concerns me and although it will always exist, it is important that we help the people that do not have enough.

“For someone to get in a boat it is really serious. They are leaving war torn countries.

“The challenge is awful, but we need people to know to raise awareness.”

As part of the challenge, Amanda has raised more than £1,000, which Concern Worldwide will use to feed refugees, organise medical visits and make sure they have essentials.

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