Children, for good or bad, are influenced by their environment. Kids who grow up in bad environments are more likely to commit crimes and fail in school. While it is true that individuals can rise out their surroundings, it is uncommon. The best way to help children become strong and moral individuals is to improve the entire community.
The heart of the belief that it "takes a village to raise a child" is the nature vs nurture debate. Unless you believe that genetics are the same thing as destiny, than you must admit that the environment in which a child is raised will have a major impact on how they turn out. Every person that comes into contact with that child will have a role (however small) in that child's outcome in life.
No, it does not take a village to impart character education, because two children living in the same location or town can grow up with very different values depending on the character of the parents. It takes a village is just a saying that parents use to justify allowing the government to raise their children for them.
It does not 'take a village' to impart character education. This is because a mother and a father have the most effect on a child's character -- much more than any outside influence. Teachers, peers, and strangers only have so much effect because they don't go home with the child at night.