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Travelers Should Help Free Rice and Kiva

February 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Travel News

Free Rice and Kiva are two non-profit websites that are a perfect fit for travelers. Travelers usually return from their wandering with a yearning to give back. Each website takes a different approach to helping people escape poverty.

Free Rice aims to provide free education to all along with free rice for the hungry. Their method is gratis and educational for the donor. It consists of website visitors answering a series of multiple-choice questions in a variety of subjects. The topics that are most relevant to travelers include identifying countries on a map, naming world capitals, and learning foreign languages (Spanish, Italian, German, French, English). For each answer you get right, Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Program.

That’s it. You learn. They eat.
free-rice-website.png Free Rice Website

Kiva takes a different approach. They match individuals who are willing to give very small loans (micro-loans) to local entrepreneurs in developing countries. The lender can select the country and specific entrepreneur who they’d like to help. Supporters will also receive e-mail updates about their enterpriser’s progress along with an ability to track repayment of the loan. This is an ideal avenue for those who want to spark initiative and hard work.
kiva-website.png Kiva Website

As travelers, we benefit from wandering the globe. We learn new customs, meet life-long friends, and take advantage of the buying power of Western currency. Free Rice is an opportunity to continue learning about the world around us, and Kiva is a chance to use that almighty currency to give back. Take a serious look at each website. Help make a difference.
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.


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28 Responses to “Travelers Should Help Free Rice and Kiva”
  1. Lisa says:

    Both worth supporting. I love Free Rice. Fun quizzes and I can help others. First time I heard about Kiva, but that sounds like a great idea. It reinforces working.

  2. Yen says:

    I just tried out the Free Rice site. Smart concept especially since rice comes my area of the globe. I like the Kiva site too. Better to help get people to work than simply give them the results of it.

  3. Kiva has a great idea. Being able to help someone get an idea off of the ground is a great thing. As the old saying goes it better to teach a man to fish than to just give him the fish.

  4. Gennaro says:


    Love the geography quizzes


    Helping to support the Asian economies too!


    Agreed. Let’s people develop a life-long skill to survive.

  5. Tim says:

    I’m planning on participating in Kiva. As a person who runs a business, I needed a loan at one point…I’d like to help other succeed. Especially, since it won’t require much in a lot of those countries. I was in Peru a few months ago. I’ll try someone from there.

  6. Ashley says:

    Love both. Already during a Kiva loan.

  7. Business of businesses – that is the key today. Find the business model to grow other business. Become viral business… business that values GIVE vs TAKE.
    I must figure out myself too the model, so i could lift others while maintaining myself as a healthy business.
    Good stuff and healthy reminder of today’s change of focus in business.

  8. Gennaro says:


    Great to hear.

    @Alik Levin

    Agreed. We get back that which we invest in others. It’s a great model: helping to grow other businesses.

  9. Christy T says:

    Free Rice is a fun site. I use it here and there. Practice my French and Spanish. Nice that it helps feed people in need too.

  10. Gennaro says:

    @Christy T

    Agreed. Some of the quizzes are challenging too. They get harder with each correct answer.

  11. Sire says:

    At first, in regards to free rice, I thought what’s in it for them, and I figured the site would be full of ads, or at the very least have adsense on it. Man wa I ever wrong. Still I wonder how they fund their charitable efforts.

  12. Gennaro says:


    Free Rice has quite a few anonymous donors. It’s also run by the UN World Food Program.

    The best part is it doesn’t cost anything to help except time. Great for kids and teens. Adults too.

  13. Sire says:

    Thanks for the update Gennaro, reckon I may have a shot at the quiz to see how I go and so they can use the result of my feeble efforts to help the needy.

  14. Brian Hunt says:

    Another great charity site is AIDtoCHILDREN. It donates money to
    children in need through World Vision.

  15. Gennaro says:


    No problem, my friend. You an important point.

  16. Gennaro says:

    @Brian Hunt

    Lots of worthwhile charities. I encourage everyone to get involved in helping the organizations of the choosing. Be sure to do a check that the monies are spent properly.

  17. Sip says:

    I going to connect with a Kiva entrepreneur today or tomorrow. Very cool idea.

  18. Micro-lending is such a great trend in international development. Whenever I travel in the developing world I try to find my own little project to micro lend to. (After the tsunami I gave/lent the money to a fisherman to buy a new boat). Sites like Kiva are great for doing such lending from the comfort of your home.

  19. Gennaro says:



    @Spot Cool

    Agreed. It re-enforces initiative and hard work.

  20. iWalk says:

    This is a very great information,Gennaro.
    Thanks for sharing us. I think try to do something helpful while traveling can make travel more meaningful!

  21. Gennaro says:


    No problem. I agree that travel is more meaningful when we give back.

  22. I’ve heard of Kiva but not Free Rice. I’m going to check that out now.

  23. Gennaro says:

    @Kim Woodbridge

    Sounds great. It’s definately worthwhile.

  24. Abby Ravera says:

    Hi Gennaro,

    It’s really great that you’re giving blog space to initiatives like Freerice and Kiva. Just to clarify though, that FreeRice is not a stand alone non-profit, but is run by the UN World Food Programme.

    Thanks so much for your work.

  25. Gennaro says:

    @Abby Ravera

    Perhaps it could be clearer, but “Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Program.”


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    Travelers Must Help Free Rice And Kiva…

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