Our global village

When I reflect on my recent visit to the Gambia, and on other trips to poor countries, I tend to gain some real perspective on my life. I'm left asking what will the future hold for the Gambian children in this picture? How many will survive to adulthood, have happy lives and achieve their dreams? None for sure, will have any of the opportunities I had when I was their age.

I can't help but feel extremely privileged to come from a part of the world where electricity, water and gas are all piped to my home, and where education is free for all children up to the age of 18.

Even healthcare (we pay our taxes) is free at the point of delivery to all British citizens (and of course to anyone else who is visiting the UK and gets taken ill) courtesy of the National Health Service. Hell, I even have broadband wifi in my house, and enough to feed and clothe my entire family. I'm very, very fortunate indeed. I have always been affected by the following scenario, ever since I first heard it several years ago. If you want some perspective on your life, read on....

If we could reduce the world’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:

Our village would be populated by 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 8 Latin Americans, 5 from the USA and Canada, and 1 from the South Pacific


51 would be male, 49 would be female
82 would be non-white; 18 would be white
67 would be non-Christian; 33 would be Christian
80 would live in substandard housing
67 would be unable to read
50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation
33 would be without access to a safe water supply
39 would lack access to improved sanitation
24 would not have any electricity (and of the 76 that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)
7 people would have access to the Internet
1 would have a college education
1 would have HIV
2 would be near birth; 1 near death
5 would control 32% of the entire world’s wealth; all 5 would be US citizens

33 would be receiving (and trying to live on) only 3% of the income of “the village”

Information source

Comments

Anonymous said…
Having just returned from my son's wedding in Johannesburg, South Africa and a flatclassroom workshop in Mumbai, India, I have been reflecting just like you and wonder about the future of the people and what we can do about their plight and abject poverty. Wish there was simple solution but hopefully as our classrooms become more global and connect, our future generations will see solutions.

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