Thursday, February 27, 2014


It was an experiment in empathy. The nonprofit group SOS Children's Villages recorded a secret video of Norwegians interacting with a child out in the cold without a jacket.

The result: a heart-warming montage of people offering the child the clothes off their backs. The video is part of the group's larger campaign to encourage Norwegians to give warm coats and blankets to displaced Syrian children.

Children make up half of all refugees from the country, according to the UN. Most Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, as well as to North Africa and Europe.

Here's a rough translation of the script:

It's heartening to read a nice story now and then, isn't it? This one is from this morning's edition of the Global Post. 


Should Fish More said...

I hope people everywhere would react the same, and I want to think so. Lot of statistics out there about how many children go to bed hungry at night here in the 'developed' world.

Things like this make the world a less sad place.

susan said...

They do indeed.

Ol'Buzzard said...

pitifully, I bellieve that would never happen here - the kid would be ignored.
the Ol'Buzzard

Claude said...

It's great that some people stopped and cared. But I hope that, on that particular moment, at least one person did more than just giving a warm piece of clothing to the child. True charity required contact with school, parents, authorities to learn why this happened and to avoid a recurrence of the problem.

Also a lot more than a warm jacket ($15) is needed for the children of Syria. The international diplomatic, political and charitable communities should be involved in helping to restore peaceful, livable conditions in their country. Children anywhere, in their growing up years, should not be depending on a stranger possible hand-out to be warm and fed.

susan said...

Sad but too true, OB.

susan said...

Of course, you're right, Claude. The film didn't show anyone being quite that responsible and perhaps it's a sign of our times just how nice it appears that some people were kind enough to offer some warm clothing as the boy 'waited for his teacher'.

I understood the film to be a reminder to people to be willing to share. Yes, $15 isn't going to help much but every bit helps a little - at least until our governments develop their hearts. You've reminded me of a quote by Alexander McCall Smith from the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (which I love):

“Sometimes she thought that the people overseas had no room in their heart for Africa, because nobody had ever told them that African people were just the same as they were”

Lindsay Byrnes said...

The story and experiment are a reminder that random acts of kindness can have a ripple on effect for the good. It’s good to realize many people will usually respond positively with assistance, and we never know how this might change things down the track. I think it works, to encourage donations of warm coats and blankets to displaced Syrian children
It reminds me , although slightly off tack, of the true story of how “Just Enough Faith “which was foundered on a cold winters night, when a weaththy business owner sat alone on a park bench in a dark mood contemplating his future, resulting in a homeless man offered him a blanket.
“Its cold out there mate. Better take my blanket.”
‘I am okay’. ‘was his reply- “just thinking after some conflict at work today?”
The rest is history as the business owner began to understand why people become homeless, for him to ultimately amass an army of thousands of regular volunteers: dentists, doctors and helpers who each night deliver restaurant quality meals and other services to the homeless. Many thousands have re-entered society directly as consequence. He continues to operate a successful business but these days its purpose is largely to fund ‘Just Enough Faith.’
Best wishes

clairesgarden said...

good!! good people!! x

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
I agree it can never be a bad idea to be charitable to others less fortunate than ourselves. Your story about the man who began 'Just Enough Faith' certainly proves the point.
Best wishes in return.

susan said...

Yes, Claire, a good story about people being good.

Sean Jeating said...

Hm, no "secret video", but a clever advertisement for a good cause – causing people to help.

susan said...

I thought so too :)