To help their fellow citizens brave the cold this season, Iranians have raised ‘walls of kindness’ for people who are homeless and in need. These walls, which sprung up in a couple of major Iranian cities, are covered with hooks and hangers where winter clothes are hung for others to simply pick up.
According to BBC, the originator of this concept is unknown but the first such wall came up in the north-eastern city of Mashhad, where a person hung a few coats and warm clothes on hooks and hangers with the message: “If you don’t need it, leave it. If you need it, take it.” It was then when the idea took off and spread across the country.
As the country battles cold and the word spread on social media, a lot of users appreciated the move, posting photos of the walls and even participating in the charity asking fellow users to not “let any [homeless people] shiver in the cold this winter”. A Facebook user wrote, “This is a great initiative. Hope it spreads across Iran”, while another wrote, “Walls remind us of distance but in some streets in Shiraz (another city where the wall appeared) they brought people closer to each other”.
— MishaZand (@MishaZand) December 13, 2015
— azemrooz (@mahdifarhadpour) December 5, 2015
دیوار مهربانی کرمان – خیابان هزار و یک شب، اول کوچه ۳ pic.twitter.com/orMdJZJ1kl
— Moein (@MoeinDHM) December 18, 2015
— Erfaneh Irani (@Erfaneh_Irani) December 18, 2015
But some have complained about the government’s lack of initiative to care for the homeless (link). The official figures say that 15,000 people in Iran are homeless, however, a Guardian report says the numbers are much higher than that.