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Would you give a freezing child your coat?

Campaign to raise awareness for children in Syria sees strangers wrap their coats around a young boy sitting alone without a jacket in freezing weather
  • @heatheranne9

A heartwarming video has been released showing strangers taking off their coats and wrapping them around a young boy sitting alone, in freezing weather, without a jacket on.

The charity SOS Children's Villages placed 11-year-old Johannes on a bus stop bench in Oslo, Norway, and filmed him for two days using a hidden camera.

The young boy was not wearing a jacket and can be seen in the video visibly shivering from the cold. When people waiting at the bus stop ask why he is not wearing a coat, he tells them he is on a school field trip and someone has stolen it.

His predicament sees one concerned woman take off her coat and wrap it around him, while another man takes off his and sits on the bench with just a t-shirt on.

In fact, only three people out of the 12 people who approached him did not offer their jacket, scarf or gloves. 


The experiment, designed to see if strangers would donate their jackets, was part of the charity's winter SOS MAYDAY campaign to collect coats and blankets to be sent to Syria, to keep displaced children warm during the winter.

SOS Children's Villages has been operating in Syria since 1981. In Aleppo they have a children's village, a youth centre and an integration project for young people.


"It's a campaign to raise awareness of people in Syria," Synne Rønning, the information head of SOS Barbebyer told The Local. "People should care as much about children in Syria as they care about this boy at the bus top. The situation in Syria is very harsh."

Mr Rønning said Johannes had volunteered for the role and had been monitored to ensure he was not harmed by being exposed to the cold weather.


"There were so many nice people," Johannes told The Aftenposten. "We filmed for two days, and I thought maybe only three or four of them would give me their jacket altogether. But there are many more who did it. Many more than those who are shown in the video."

The video has been viewed by nearly six million people on YouTube and has been shared thousands of times across social media.

To find out more about the campaign, click here.