The presents have been opened. Christmas dinner is eaten. You’ve taken a walk along the Ridgeway or up Yew Hill. Now the night is drawing in, but you don’t want the day to end. An idea hits you. You install the Freerice app. You open it and see:
You click “merry” (well, it is Christmas!) You’ve just donated 5 grains of rice to help feed the world’s hungry.
Freerice (also on freerice.com) is a game developed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.
How does it work? “As you play Freerice and answer questions right, advertisements appear on your screen. When you see one of these advertisements, you trigger a financial payment to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support its work saving and changing lives around the world. In the game, these payments are represented via grains of rice. The amount of money generated when you see an advertisement can vary, but is roughly equivalent to what the World Food Programme spends to purchase 5 grains of rice.”
Now I agree that 5 grains of rice don’t sound like much. But they soon add up. Last year, the equivalent of over 45 tonnes of rice were donated. (This year’s totals, sadly, will be lower; prior to July 30, each question generated 10 grains, but this has been temporarily reduced to 5 due to a collapse in the advertising market from the COVID-19 pandemic). “WFP doesn’t use the funds raised via Freerice to only purchase rice. Instead, money raised via Freerice funds a variety of WFP projects around the world, depending on where needs are greatest.” freerice.com/about.
I’ve played Freerice since 2013. Then, the only questions available were on English Vocabulary. These days, you can test yourself on topics such as Climate Action, Healthy Eating, World Landmarks, Famous Quotations, 6 different languages, Multiplication Tables, Chemical Symbols and, because this is 2020, CoronaVirus: Know the Facts.
You can now also create groups so you can compete with family or friends to see who can donate the most rice. Or you can play together with your kids to help them learn in a fun way – Freerice has an extensive list of banned industries and advertisers, so no inappropriate advertisements should ever appear.
Christmas is a time for giving. It’s also a chance to have fun with the family. Now you can do both with Freerice.