Families of the World is a wonderful educational DVD series from Master Communications. The series contains 25 titles each focusing on a different country. Each DVD takes you into a specific country and lets you view life ithere as seen through the eyes of two different children. One child tends to be in a rural or less well off area and one child tends to be in a city and tends to have more money and opportunities.
Each story is narrated by the child and an interpreter, when applicable. You get to experience their lives from the moment they wake up until the moment they fall asleep. You follow their families’ routines and customs. You get to see the way life in their country impacts how they live so the films document some of their hardships and struggles, like how war has impacted their country and the fact that they have to walk an hour to school in the dark each day.
In Families in Afghanistan, you follow Zamora who is thirteen years old. She lives with her parents, three sisters, two brothers and two uncles. Zamora wakes early in the morning and does quite a few chores before she goes to school, including caring for the animals (cows and chickens). She shows us her village and the types of food families grow there. You also get to visit her religion class, which she attends five days a week.
Madina is 12 years old and lives in Kabul which is Afghanistan’s capital. Her father is an engineer and her mother is a doctor so their family is considered to be well off. Madina attends school every day and she tutors another student in computer usage. She spends much more time playing and it shows her playing chess with her father and uncle and having a snowball fight with her cousin. The chores she helps with are vacuuming and ironing.
We also had the chance to review the Families of Kenya DVD. This DVD follows the lives of two boys in Kenya. Prince is in sixth grade and lives in Nairobi in the city with his parents and siblings. The DVD doesn’t really show any chores for Prince. He spends time riding his bike with his friends and works on his homework. It also shows you series of tribal dances at a local festival that was really interesting.
John is an 11 year old boy who lives on a farm in Kangundo. He has many chores involving tending the animals and has to walk to school an hour each way in dark. You also get to see a lot of interesting wildlife like lions and elephants when you view a safari that his uncle works on.
I really enjoyed this series. For the most part, the children in the rural areas had many more chores than their city counterparts. They also tended to have less access to electricity so their lives are much different than ours tend to be. Families of the World is recommended for ages five to eleven. The series features families in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, the USA, the UK and Vietnam.