Perhaps you’ve been saddened by reports coming out of the Horn of Africa.

The eastern part of Africa is going through the worst drought the area has faced in decades. In Somalia, this difficult situation is made worse by political unrest, so that people are leaving the country for safety as well as to seek food and work. Kenya, Ethiopia, and other neighboring countries face their own problems with the drought and are now also dealing with refugees from Somalia streaming in.

There are many thoughts about what could have, might have, and should have been done to prevent this situation. PBS Newshour offers a balanced story on this.

Whatever you may decide about causes and solutions, at this time, people need food to live. What if there were a way for you help provide for that need, learn something in the process, and it would not cost you anything?

You might even have fun in the process. The UN World Food Program has a site called Free Rice, which has two purposes: to provide education for all, and to help those in need by providing food. What happens is, visitors to the site can choose to play educational games. You can build your vocabulary skills in English, French, and several other languages, try your hand at math equations and chemistry problems, see how much you know abut world literature, identify countries on the map or see if you know flags of the world, for example. You can switch among topics as you like, as well, and there is no sign in required. For each answer you get right, you’ll see a little graphic indicating that ten grains of rice have gone to the program. You can also read further at the site to see what this means and how sponsors pay for this.

This site has been up and running for some time, and it’ll be around after the crisis in east Africa has faded from the headlines. It offers a continuing way to help the world’s hungry, and to learn new things about the world while doing so.

other ways you can help the situation in the Horn of Africa

Play Freerice and feed the hungry

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Kerry Dexter is one of six writers who contribute to Perceptive Travel’s blog. You will often find her writing about places, events, and people connected with music, history, and the arts in Europe and North America. You may find more of Kerry's work at her site Music Road as well as in Wandering Educators, National Geographic Traveler, Ireland and the Americas, and other places online and in print.

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