Every click counts..

22 03 2008

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. –  Mitch Hedberg



It all started sometime in October 2007. A simple vocab game where you try and guess the correct meaning of the word from the 4 choices given. For every word you get correct, you won 10 grains of rice (and this has gone up to 20). FreeRice 6 months on has now expanded to be something phenomenal. Every day roughly 100 million grains of rice are donated (which equates to about $600 US). Not bad for doing practically nothing! Every day when I jump on the computer I spend about 5-10 minutes donating 500-1500 grains of rice a day! It is not much and in monetary terms it only equates to like 0.000000000003 cents but the cumulative effect is enormous! The grand total as of late march is 23 billion grains of rice. Enough to feed about 1 million people, so says the World Food Program. 

I will be frank; I have never donated before in my entire life. Never, nothing, zilch, nada and so on. Anytime Oxfam or “help Darfur” or any other charity organization knocks on my door, I open to see who it is and before they even say hi I will close it right back. Anytime I get a letter or see an advert in print or TV saying how many people are dying of hunger I simply change the channel or throw the advert away. Sad  as it may sound, I am not in the minority. But anyway will I donate in the future? Maybe… Currently my part time job in no way gives me the opportunity or the “privilege” to donate now. With FreeRice though, it is quite different. It doesn’t cost me a thing, and I end up donating! How can anyone say no to that? Of course it is not the same as putting in your own money, but it is better than doing nothing…. Hence that’s what it has been for the past few years. Not donating anything and no commercial of a crying boy or Pulitzer Prize winning picture about a dying kid getting followed by a vulture will force me to change.

 So for many of you out there, in such a similar position, give FreeRice a go. 5 minutes a day is plenty. Do more if it doesn’t interrupt too much with the hectic schedule of the 21st century! You might learn a new word or two and you might give someone the opportunity to live old enough to see Malaria, AIDS, or even a civil war (just kidding: replace the previous 3 with education, pleasure, freedom) … Now if there was only some way to quench the other necessities in life… hopefully someone else can invent a website for that…





*What do others think?

 a).FreeRice is a load of crap! Only 20 grains of rice!?? That is nothing!

b). FreeRice is not enough!

c). You should teach a man how to fish, not just give him constant supplies of fish!! 

-There are of course many more arguments (feel free to post your views) but these were the ones I can think of. Now my quick response:

a). Well again, it is better than nothing. I think those receiving these donations see it as a blessing. Considering it is also given for free (the ad’s pay for it), I don’t see how people can complain about that.

b). Yeah your right. It is not enough. Do consider donating for less than a dollar a day and you can see one of your sponsored orphans see it past grade 4.

c). That is a good point. However the political situation in many parts of the world makes it so that the third world countries STAY third world countries. As politically incorrect as it sounds, that’s how the economies of the world work and it is very difficult for many third world countries to lift themselves out of poverty. (Corruption doesn’t help…). So in the meantime, while FreeRice is not the solution to world peace, it alleviates those starving to death at least for a few more days. In fact the first donations of rice actually went to a refugee camp (which seem to be in no real way of surviving had it not been from foreign aid). 


See also: 

*Another FreeRice video

*World Food Program

*The hunger site – Similar in concept to FreeRice, you click on a few buttons, look at some ads and money gets donated to charity organizations.

*Facebook FreeRice group – A small Facebook group dedicated to FreeRice.


Thanks for reading. Any comments are more than welcome.