Crying for the little girl – that is exactly how I felt in my heart as I watched the video. It is easy to look at the people captured on video but that is judging others. But you and I both know how easy it is to point to others. So what about us? Do we even care at all?

UNICEF Social Experiment

UNICEF published a video on June 28, 2016, featuring six-year-old child actress Anano. It is a social experiment to see how children are treated based on how they appear. I must warn you, this video is heart-wrenching.

Crying for the Little Girl

Chances are, you and I have seen them, the little boys and girls on the streets. Have we cared for the little children even once? Do we even care at all?

Crying for Humanity

In 2030, 167 million children will live in extreme poverty. 69 million children under the age of five will die between 2016 and 2030. 60 million children of primary school age will be out of school.

Compared to the richest children, the poorest children are 1.9 times as likely to die before the age of five. 38% of children leave primary school without learning how to read, write and do simple arithmetic. 1 in 4 of the world’s school-aged children lives in countries affected by a crisis.

Call to Action

  • Over 165 million children will live on no more than US$1.90 a day – 9 out of 10 will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Almost 70 million children under the age of 5 will die of largely preventable causes – and children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times as likely to die as those from high-income countries.
  • More than 60 million children aged 6 to 11 will be out of school – roughly the same number as today.
  • 750 million women will have been married as children.

Inequality is a choice. Promoting equity, a fair chance for every child, for all children, is also a choice. A choice we can make and must make. For their future, and the future of our world. – Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director

For more information: UNICEF – The State of the World’s Children 2016

Friends, please watch the 3-minute video if you have not done so before sharing your thoughts by commenting.

17 COMMENTS

  1. I simply do not know what to say. The little actress, though she knew it was just an act, got hurt. How much more for kids pushed away?

    I am really bothered. And I am recalling instances when I’ve met children like her and what was my reaction.

    I am one with UNICEF in this campaign.

  2. This is so depressing 🙁 I am running out of words here. I just don’t know how to react. I felt so bad that people would judge people based on how they look. I thought it is going to be a video about finding a good samaritan but it turned out, no one even showed some sympathy for that poor little girl.

    If this is a real situation, I don’t know who is really at fault – the parents who neglected the child or the judgemental people? Either way, both of them are still wrong. I support UNICEF for this campaign.

  3. I’ve watched the video. I have to admit: It has two sides for me. I totally agree with the point made. Let’s state that as a first. I really do think everyone should care more. Be more aware. And don’t judge a book by its cover. Of course: Easier said than done. At a course I followed I learned this goes much quicker than you think. When someone says or does something, we try to explain it to ourselves. And with that: Filling things in for the other. And we constantly do these things. I’m glad I’m more aware and am now able to correct myself when I notice it. (Of course, there will still be instances I don’t notice it, or do it).

    Looking around you and helping people is so important. I’ve done volunteering work for 5 years. I organized a play day for children with a disability. My goal was: Let all the children play together (with and without disability), let them have a careless day ánd help the parents out a bit (By making a goodie bag with useful products etc). I loved to help. But is also taught me so much. I got to know so many beautiful people and see that every family is different. All the needs are different.

    I totally support UNICEF’s goal. I think they’re doing great work. And they really need all the support possible. Now my second point: On a personal level: I’m not a fan of this kind of videos. I’ll explain a bit why. When I read the numbers, I feel sad. And touched. But the video is different. I’m only thinking about: How many scenes did they do. From how many, did they pick these ones? Why? Is this all? How big was the reference group? (Not saying it isn’t good, I’m just wondering about the background, the analytics, the decisions they made.) I mean: I know they’re making the video this way to tell a specific message. And to give me a certain feeling. And therefore, for me, it doesn’t. Too much distraction for me. I like to read the numbers. See the facts.

    • Carola,

      I like numbers and I would like to see them too. To understand everything about the video, behind the scenes, anything other than the intent, I needed to throw away any personal experience. The video was commissioned by UNICEF Georgia. The people there may or may not share the same cultural beliefs and practices.

      Yes, I looked for references to figures. No, I did not find them. Perhaps the fact the experiment was terminated had to do with numbers not being released.

      What was shown is nothing new. We all know that is what is happening in the world. I think the highlight of the video is because the child was emotionally disturbed and clearly, she is too young and her view of the world is not the same as me, a 47-year-old. Her confusion and emotion is the message UNICEF is using to drive home a point – that these children need help.

  4. I think there are two sides of it. I have watched the video and it is really sad and depressing. Of course, there is one thing that no judgment can be made but I feel both the sides are somewhere at fault.

    In spite of knowing that it was an act, a little bit of intelligence could be applied here. Shedding tears isn’t apt. I support UNICEF on this one.

  5. I have to admit it is true. I guess because when we come across so-called beggar children, our impression is they are dirty and they might be thieves… well, at least in Malaysia, here we avoid these kids or give them a ringgit to go away because these kids would be working under a syndicate as well… and it’s kind of an automatic response to avoid them… I am feeling guilty, but I really do not know what to do either as these syndicates tend to have gangsters around as well.

  6. Carola has a point! There might be more than just these reactions. But on the other hand, this is really true. Even I, myself am guilty of ignoring homeless children sometimes – some of those kids that I see on the street. Not that I scold them, I just go past them. That’s because of my experience with other kids who wouldn’t take food if you give it to them, they’ll ask for cash.

  7. That is an emotional video, brought out sadness, anger, and empathy, love, and an urge to help more than I do now. I would help out any child no matter the clothes, dirt or class… it’s our duty as adults to look out for the young (even those who are not are own children)! It’s amazing to me that people would cast aside any human being because they look different/live in the streets/what have you. I want to hug that little girl acting, just imagine how non-acting people who live poor feel. I hope this post touches all people that watch and gets them to open their eyes and make a difference in the world. Great post to build awareness, Robert!

  8. I have already seen and watched this video before and the emotions I felt are still the same up until now. It’s unfair that sometimes people who are blessed enough are really picky with helping strangers. I aim to donate to UNICEF one of this days to help them out in my own little way in helping children such as the girl on the video.

    I hope this video will spread like wildfire too and that person will give more attention to this than useless gossips and rumors about celebrities.

  9. I’ve already seen that video before. I think UNICEF made a great campaign on showing the reality and how there are different treatments based on one’s appearance. I think this doesn’t only apply to kids but to adults as well. It is really up to us to start the change that is to help anyone in need regardless of the appearance. We are already blessed as is. We should share our blessings through giving food (not money).

  10. Depressing. I am a strong advocate of UNICEF and I believe in their mission to help children around the world. However, I also believe that we should focus on our local NGOs and groups that also promote advocacies to protect the rights of women and children. Great post, Sir Robert. I’ll share this.

  11. I am guilty. I showed no much care for both types, though the main concept of the video is to #fightunfair (especially physical appearances) in showing care. For those properly dressed, normally, they can easily attract help and thus, I did not mind that much. For those in dirty clothes, in general, my view, they live in the streets together with their family. If not, they should not be in that situation. I know my thoughts are stupid, at some points. This is the very reason why I appreciate the UNICEF video to enlighten mind like mine that cares (especially for kids) should be a common act, just like saying thank you.

  12. I totally agree with what you said and I quote, “Change starts when you choose to care.” People should realize how these poor children feel when they have pushed away. It is pathetic that there are still so many people in this world whose treatment towards others is based on appearance. Shame on all of them!

  13. The horrible reality we live in. The saddest part is – most of us would probably do the same. It’s up to us to step back from what society trained us to do and start being more human, compassionate, helpful, generous. I’m glad to see a lot of people in my country behave well to those little kids, but it’s heartbreaking that there are lots of people (also in my country) who behave really bad.

  14. I have watched this video before and it still breaks my heart. However, I still can’t blame those who chose to shoo Anano away when she is covered in soot and dirt. We have no one to blame but the parents of the street children, really. I have this horrible experience when a street child is begging for money near our school. I happen to pass by him and gave him a 5 peso coin. You know what the child did? He threw the 5 peso coin at me and said it’s not enough. He even spat on my shoe. How disgusting? What we need is this world is more responsible parents.

  15. It’s pretty depressing that when I thought and looked at myself, I know that I would have probably done the same. Not for out of sympathy and being judgemental, but out of the experience that most of the time here in manila, those kids covered in dirt and soot who we give say money or food to are rude and they say that it isn’t enough. I’ve experienced it multiple times in college… 🙁

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