The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

01 November 2007

Click and donate with a difference

There are a lot of click and donate sites, where you click on an icon and the site’s sponsors donate a small sum to a good cause. Here’s a click and donate site with a difference. is a vocabulary quiz. For every word you get right, the site donates 10 grains of rice to help end world hunger. When you get a definition right, the next word is harder; when you get it wrong, the next definition is easier. Continue playing, and with a wide vocabulary or a bit of luck you will be able to donate thousands of grains. The site started on 7th October 2007 when 830 grains of rice were donated. By the end of the month, the daily donation was nearly 60 million grains and rising rapidly.

Recede means: experience, gripe, unmask, withdraw
Naturalize means: ensure, adapt, scamper, multiply
Desiccant means: consultant, drying agent, beginning, level
Vestigial means: humid, trustworthy, shocked, rudimentary

After the first few words, the vocabulary level starts to rise when you get a correct definition, and it will get a bit easier if you guess wrong. The next words to come up were:
Unguent: weary uneasiness, ointment, inducement, pony
Corsair: superiority, limb, devilry, pirate
Dreck: junk, newsperson, lyre, burden
Specular: mirror-like, sham, lacking, diligent
Gemsbok: lodging, trophy, devoutness, oryx
Enervate: love, chat, weaken, verify

Did you get them all right? If so, that’s 100 grains donated. And it goes on and on. Beware. You may find the site addictive. But then the good thing is that you will be giving a lot of rice away:

Daily totals
7 October 2007 830
8 October 2007 5,670
9 October 2007 76,020
10 October 2007 287,960
11 October 2007 4,584,100
12 October 2007 3,541,350
13 October 2007 3,194,630
14 October 2007 4,343,350
15 October 2007 6,403,920
16 October 2007 6,645,520
17 October 2007 12,157,010
18 October 2007 26,703,160
19 October 2007 40,373,060
20 October 2007 16,175,550
21 October 2007 13,276,900
22 October 2007 26,881,930
23 October 2007 30,423,770
24 October 2007 37,670,700
25 October 2007 30,819,620
26 October 2007 29,607,480
27 October 2007 37,056,070
28 October 2007 42,153,550
29 October 2007 48,720,340
30 October 2007 56,893,100
31 October 2007 59,167,790

Total raised in the first month: 537,163,380 grains of rice. That’s a phenomenal growth rate; and the news of the site must be spreading by word of mouth. Could the idea be extended to cover school learning, and particularly literacy and numeracy, with the rewards similar but different to free rice (giving points in heaven rather than actual personal benefits).

Correct definitions: withdraw, adapt, drying agent, rudimentary, ointment, pirate, junk, mirror-like, oryx, weaken


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