What is society’s attitude towards children who are alone in a crowded place?
That is the question that UNICEF’s video for their recently concluded social experiment starts with, and the answer should make all of us sad.
The social experiment featured an adorable 6-year-old girl. She was filmed standing around alone in Tbilisi, Georgia, once in clean, nice-looking clothes, and once in dirty, shabby clothes.
Supposedly left all by herself, we where then given a view into the attitude of people in the case of her two differing states of dressing.
The girl was approached and helped several times when she was well dressed but was treated drastically different when she had on dirty and shabby clothes.
The extent of the cruelty she faced was so much that the experiment had to be called off when she ran crying from a stranger in a restaurant who said to her, “Go away, I don’t want to see you here anymore.”
In her state of dirty and shabby dressing, the girl no doubt looked like a homeless child, which would suggest that she needed more help than a well dressed child, who it could be theorized; had simply lost her way and just needed help locating her guardians.
Unfortunately, when people considered the little girl homeless, they either ignored her or spoke unkindly to her.
The social experiment — which is part of the UNICEF #FightUnfair campaign that aims to give every child a fair chance at life — has garnered over 16 million views in just 14 hours. At the end of the video Anna was asked some questions and she said; “This made me sad” and it should make all of us sad too.
Being sad is not enough though, as individuals, we have to be conscious about our disposition towards children locked in the cycle of poverty. Maybe then our societies will earn a much kinder reputation in the face of another such social experiment.