Actors portray life in a slum village at the Global Children Villages event for Global Citizen Week in Kelowna at the New Life Church on Saturday.
But that was the point of the Global Children's Villages that kicked off the ninth annual Global Citizen Kelowna week.
The slum village simulation used actors to create a realistic look at the poverty faced by millions of people around the world.
"Last year, we had kids coming out in tears thinking it was real," said Michelle Bonnet, one of the co-ordinators of the Global Children's Villages.
"But the purpose is to create a conversation with families and teach kids that they can be a part of changing it."
After walking through the village, families visited other simulated villages from around the world.
Kids got their passport stamped, collected gold coins at each station and then decided which cause they wanted to donate their money to.
"People seemed shocked and in awe of someone who could be in this shape," said David Michael, one of the actors portraying life in the slum village.
Michael recently returned from the Philippines and said the simulation was similar to what he saw there.
"I'm feeling this. It's really close to what I saw there," he said.
The Global Children's Villages are only one of the events presented for Global Citizen Kelowna week.
On Feb. 28, the Millennium Development Challenge, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, will challenge high school students to create a project to help a community and then present it to a panel of judges. In the past four years, the initiative has helped educate a teacher in Afghanistan and inoculate an entire village in Somalia. One of the main goals of the initiative is to raise awareness of the Millennium Development goals. The United Nations have targeted these goals to be reached by 2015.
On Friday, Kelowna Lake-Country MP Ron Cannan announced $38,200 in funding for the event. The Intercultural Society of the Central Okanagan received $26,200 from the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program and $12,000 in funding through Inter-Action, Canada's Multiculturalism Grants and Contribution Program, administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
For more information about the events during Global Citizen Kelowna week, visit