Tuesday 27 September 2016

Iranians set up 'walls of kindness' to help homeless

'Walls of kindness' spring up across Iran to help homeless during cold winter months

Barney Henderson

Published 21/12/2015 | 07:48

One of the 'walls of kindness' that has sprung up in Iran to help homeless Photo: Twitter
One of the 'walls of kindness' that has sprung up in Iran to help homeless Photo: Twitter

Iranians have set up "walls of kindness" where people can easily donate coats and other warm clothes to help the homeless as the country suffers from bitterly cold winter weather.

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The concept is simple – a few hooks and hangers are installed on a coloured wall next to the words: "If you don't need it, leave it. If you need it, take it."

Ally Louise Smith was born by C-section on 11 December weighing just 2lb 5oz Photo: Heidi Loughlin
Ally Louise Smith was born by C-section on 11 December weighing just 2lb 5oz Photo: Heidi Loughlin

 The spontaneous charity acts were first seen in the north-eastern city of Mashhad and instantly proved to be successful, BBC Monitoring reported.

The concept soon spread to other cities after pictures of the "walls of kindness" were shared widely on social media, with users urged not to "let any [homeless people] shiver in the cold this winter". The originator of the concept remained unknown.

A similar idea has previously been seen on Iranian streets, whereby fridges are left out for people to leave food for the homeless.

"This is a great initiative. Hope it spreads across Iran," said one comment on Facebook.

"Walls remind us of distance but in some streets in Shiraz they brought people closer to each other," another added.

Iran has been suffering from extremely cold weather recently, with temperatures frequently dropping below freezing.

Official figures state that there are 15,000 homeless people in Iran, but the actual number is thought to be much higher, driven in large part by the country's recent economic woes.

Along with posts praising the scheme, were others questioning why President Hassan Rouhani's government had not down more to help those in poverty.

Reuters

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