Mum on refugee rations

Carmen Stobaus, of Balga, with her daughter Melissa.                d440240
Carmen Stobaus, of Balga, with her daughter Melissa.        d440240

The Balga resident helped feed two people living in a Burmese refugee camp for a year after taking part in the Act for Peace Ration Challenge in June.

As part of the challenge, Ms Stobaus lived off the same rations as a Burmese refugee for a week in return for donations from friends and family.

The Ballajura Community College education assistant raised more than $500 by eating only 280g of split peas, 185g of tuna, 2kg of rice, 250g of flour, 40g of salt and 125ml of vegetable oil over seven days.

�I am of very limited financial means, so I do my bit by mostly spreading awareness about various issues and campaigns going on around the country,� she said.

�I was interested in doing (the ration challenge) because it was specifically about Burmese people; there are a lot of Burmese people in the area, my kids have friends at school and I have students who are Burmese refugees, so it made it personal.�

Ms Stobaus said the first day of the challenge was easy, but that she was sick of rice by the end and not having vegetables was tough.

�There�s a story of a man who has been in a refugee camp for 21 years collecting the same rations � I could barely cope with a week. Twenty-one years with the same rations is crazy to me.�

Ms Stobaus said she could sleep a little easier at night knowing two more people would not be left hungry

Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman, who was Ms Stobaus� biggest donor, said while immigration policy was a federal issue, the impacts were felt locally by |people from diverse backgrounds fleeing terrible conditions to Australia.

�Refugees who live in Australia need our help, and so do refugees who are still living in refugee camps across the world,� she said.

To donate, go to https://rationchallenge.everydayhero.com/au/ and search Carmen Stobaus.