Imagine that we could reduce the world’s population to a village of 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same. The demographics would look something like this:
The village would have:
8 Latin Americans
5 from the USA and Canada
and 1 from the South Pacific
... we spread the pennies around on our world maps.
OK, 51 would be male, 49 would be female
82 would be non-white; 18 white
(That gets a wow! here in New Hampshire.)
33 would be without access to a safe water supply
39 would lack access to improved sanitation
( I explain what that means.)
24 would not have any electricity (And of the 76 that do
have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
only 7 people would have access to the Internet
and 1 would have a college education
5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth; all 5 would be US citizens
and 67 would be unable to read, ever!
That's where we pause. This year marks the 15th season I have created and facilitated a Lil' Sprouts program at our local natural history museum, The Libby Museum. It's all about embracing earth-friendly concepts of diversity, oneness, community, respect, and tolerance through multicultural, age-appropriate literature. I throw in a generous dose of art, music, and a hands-on, active learning approach. Sticky, muddy, messy fun!
Lil Sprouts are asked to create a community where all creatures are embraced for their similarities and appreciated for their differences. The emphasis is on understanding differing points of view and creative peace-making. The Sprouts know the importance of books. Sharing ideas. Getting to know about the world. Caring about the world.
And we vote on what do to with the pennies.
I highly recommend this book:
If the World Were a Village
David J. Smith & Shelagh (ILT) Armstrong
There are currently more than six billion people on the planet! This enormous number can be difficult to grasp, especially for a child. But what if we imagine the whole world as a village of just 100 people?
In this village 20 earn less than a dollar a day, 17 cannot read or write.
In a time when parents and educators are looking to help children gain a better understanding of the world's peoples and their ways of life, If the World Were a Village offers a unique and objective resource. By exploring the lives of the 100 villagers, children will discover that life in other nations is often very different from their own. The shrunk-down statistics will encourage readers of ALL ages to embrace the bigger picture and help them to establish their own place in the global village.