It can be difficult for us as adults to grasp the responsibility God has given us for our brothers and sisters around the world—let alone for our children to understand their role. With the world’s population reaching almost seven and a half billion people we can feel confused and overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, but what if we were to imagine our world as a village of 100 people? By learning about the people who live in the “village” we can find out about our neighbors around the world and the problems they face. Our hope is that this visual exercise will spark important conversations about what your family’s role can be in our global village!

What You’ll Need for Global Village Exercise:

• 100 dried beans or other small, same-sized objects
• 11 mason jars or small clear containers
• 40 tags or paper pieces and tape

What You’ll Do:

Create this visual example using beans and mason jars. Begin each example using a jar filled with 100 beans. Make labels for the jars with the following statistics. Each category will tell you the number of jars you will need. Allow your children to divide the correct amounts of beans into the appropriate jars. For instance, if the world were a village of 100 people, there would be 50 women and 50 men. You would label one jar “women” and one “men,” and then your child would divide the beans evenly between two jars—50 beans in each.

Global Village Statistics:

Overall Literacy—2 jars
86 would be able to read and write
14 would not

Food—2 jars
89 would be nourished
11 would be undernourished

Poverty—2 jars
89 would not live in poverty
11 would live on less than $1.90 per day

Electricity—2 jars
82 would have electricity
18 would not

Infectious Disease—2 jars
1 would have HIV/AIDS
1 would have tuberculosis

Drinking Water—2 jars
91 would have access to safe drinking water
9 would use unimproved water

Sanitation—3 jars
68 would have improved sanitation
18 would have unimproved toilets
14 would have no toilets

Age—3 jars
25 would be 0¬–14
66 would be 15–64
9 would be 65 and older

Geography—5 jars
60 would be from Asia
16 would be from Africa
10 would be from Europe
9 would be from Latin America and the Caribbean
5 would be from North America

Religion—6 jars
31 would be Christian
23 would be Muslim
15 would be Hindu
7 would be Buddhist
8 would believe in other religions
16 would not be religious or identify themselves as
being aligned with a particular faith

First Language—10 jars
12 would speak Chinese
6 would speak Spanish
5 would speak English
4 would speak Hindi
3 would speak Arabic
3 would speak Bengali
3 would speak Portuguese
2 would speak Russian
2 would speak Japanese
60 would speak other languages

All statistics from