Show Refugees we are with them

Operation Refugee is a fundraising challenge that gives you a chance to stand with refugees. The challenge is to live on the same rations as a Syrian refugee  OR  walk in their shoes for a set distance. You choose, whatever challenge you take, you will be asking friends, family and colleagues to support you.  Funds raised will give food, healthcare and education for refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon.

By taking this challenge, we are showing refugees we want them to have what they need to survive.  They are not forgotten.

Our efforts will make a difference for families who have nowhere else to turn.  They will keep hope alive for children who have spent up to 8 years of their lives with limited choices.

Be the Lifeline

Be the lifeline is a challenge to survive on refugee rations for 2 or 5 days. We supply you with the rations - just a small amount of rice, split peas, kidney beans, salt, flour, fish and oil. You can supplement these rations with extra food when you raise more money!

Walk the Talk

Walk the talk is a walking challenge. Set a goal of the number of steps or kilometres you intend to walk over 5 days.  By using FitBit, Strava, MapMyFitness or manually updating your fundraising page you can track your progress toward your goal.


Since Operation Refugee started in Aotearoa NZ, together we have raised $140,000. That goes a long way, thank you!

  • This has provided emergency food, clothes for growing infants, healthcare and education.
  • The New Zealand Government aid programme has matched some of these funds, doubling the results.
  • $140,000 would buy 750 school kits so young students could attend school for a year.

Hiyam's Story

Hiyam Moussa helps children study in a school in the Sabra refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon, run by CWS partner DSPR (Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees). Most of the school's 148 students are Syrian refugees, but roughly one-third are Palestinian refugees and a few are poor children from the neighbourhood. Lebanon hosts some 1.5 million refugees from Syria, and yet the government prohibits the establishment of large refugee camps, thus pushing many refugee families to search for housing in existing Palestinian refugee camps.



Frequently Asked Questions

Need to know more? Check out our Kete, it can be downloaded from the Operation Refugee website It’s got resources for Schools, where the money raised is going, how to fundraise, recipes if you are doing the food challenge. It's full of useful information.

General Questions

What are the dates?

Operation Refugee starts on the 1 April and finishes on the 30 September 2019.

We suggest you do the challenge between the 16 and 20 June. This may not be the best time for you. If not choose your own dates.  You will need to select a date to register.

For Schools choose a date that works best for you.

The challenge is for 5 days apart from Operation Refugee LITE which is a two day challenge.

Who can enter?

Operation Refugee is for everyone. Individuals and Teams. Schools, churches, families, work teams, social clubs, service organisations.

How do I sign up?

Register at You can choose to enter as an individual or a team, and once you have registered you will be guided through setting up your own fundraising page. This page will become the hub of all your Operation Refugee activity – all your fundraising and the distance you cover will be logged here.

How much money am I expected to raise?

It’s over to you. Some people find it harder to ask for donations than others do. One thing that works is setting a goal. If you are an individual set your goal at $500 and see how much you can raise above that. Get others to join you – it’s much easier in a team.

Can we do Operation Refugee as a team?

Yes! There are individual and team registration options. As a team, dream up a crazy team name, choose the amount of money you want to raise and eat your rations together. If you are walking choose your target distance based on what you think you will collectively be able to achieve during the week.

Walk the Talk Questions

Do I have to walk?

No, it’s a fun event. Scooters, row machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, team sports, lengths of a pool – everything but driving a motorised vehicle and a lime scooter counts! Just remember to log the distance you cover. Can wheelchair users participate? Of course! Operation Refugee is an inclusive event. Just log the distances you cover each day

What distance do I need to walk?

This is up to you, if you are younger pace yourself with a lower goal, if you are with a team go for gold!

Our suggestion is 10,000 steps or 8 km per day which is the recommended daily distance for walking. You can use weekends to cover more distance.

40 KMs is a bit far/not far enough for me, can I change the goal?

You can adjust the goal to whatever you believe is realistic – but remember Operation Refugee is meant to be a challenge, so don’t make it too easy! If you’re an avid cyclist, 40 KMs may be too low, so why not double it?  Remember it’s hard work to find safety in dangerous places.


Christian World Service has been turning small change into big change since 1945. For more than 70 years we have made sure people have food, water, dignity and justice. We are committed to tackling the causes of poverty as well as its effects. We work with local people in 20 countries and when disaster strikes. We are passionate about change.

In Lebanon and Jordan the need is much greater than what one government or organisation can achieve alone.  It is important to work alongside other agencies who have similar programmes to reach more people.

For more information about the work of CWS please visit

Christian World Service is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005, registration number CC22288.


All I need to know, where is the money going, recipes etc