“If you don’t need it, leave it; if you need it, take it.” That’s the slogan written on “kindness walls” that have sprung up in cities across Iran.
The concept is simple: do-gooders band together on social media, pick a wall in their city where they put up hooks and hangers, and paint the slogan. Then people who want to help the homeless can leave clothes, shoes, or even books. There’s no oversight: whoever wants or needs these items can then help themselves.
The first kindness wall popped up in Ilam, a small city in the west of Iran, about two months ago. The initiative was widely lauded on Facebook, and people in other cities – including big ones like Tabriz and Kerman – have picked up the idea.
Surprisingly, the idea has yet to reach Tehran, which has the country’s largest homeless population. There are no official statistics on homelessness nationwide. However the World Bank estimates that half a million people in Iran live below the poverty line, calculated at US$1.25 per day.
By France 24