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WFP launches 'World Freerice Week'

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 1 Feb 2012 17:39 GMT
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I'll just give it a little go, I thought. After all, I've been hearing about this online trivia game allowing you to donate rice to hungry people for several years now. But not being the gaming sort, I'd never tried it out.

Ten minutes later, and I had jumped to level 45 out of 60 in the English vocabulary game, earned around 550 grains of rice and learned a few new words into the bargain. Not bad, eh?

The World Food Programme, the U.N. food aid agency, which is behind the Freerice game launched in 2007, is giving it a new twist for next week, which it has dubbed World Freerice Week (Feb. 6-11).

Based on the "Six Degrees of Separation" theory, which asserts that everyone in the world is connected to every other person through at most six other people, it's asking players to recruit six friends to join in the online fight against hunger.

Each correct answer to a Freerice questions wins 10 grains of rice, paid for by sponsored advertising banners on the site, which are donated to WFP to feed hungry people around the world (you need to disable any software you have that blocks ads or your answers won't count).

There are 45,000 questions in six languages on a range of subjects from flags of the world to chemistry and literature - enough to test even the brainiest.

Freerice has over 1 million registered players, who together have donated nearly 100 billion grains of rice to feed almost five million people since the game's launch, according to WFP.

During World Freerice Week, you can create groups on that include "Freerice6" in the group title. A Flip cam and Freerice T-shirt will go to the group founder with the most members, the group founder whose group raises the most grains, as well as the individual who notches up the most rice during the week.

"With 6 Degrees of Freerice, we’re on our way to harnessing the power of online networks to make a difference in the fight against hunger," said Nancy Roman, WFP’s communications director.

Importantly, it's also quite good fun.

Follow World Freerice Week on Twitter at @freerice and by using the hash tag #Freerice6.

Visit the World Freerice Week homepage:
You can also download posters, website banners, lesson plans and other promotional materials.

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