Luxembourg youngsters' food for homeless video sparks debate
(MSS) A video clip of young people handing out food to homeless in the streets of Luxembourg has generated almost 900 'likes' and sparked debate after it was published on social media.
The three-and-a-half-minute video uploaded to Facebook last week shows a group of young people distributing food, water, gloves and hats for homeless people begging for food or money in the streets of Luxembourg city. Within 24 hours, the clip had generated almost 700 'likes' and some 80 'shares'.
Some people expressed their excitement for the initiative, whilst others called it “naive” and said the beggars were “not homeless people, just mafia”.
Joshua O, a 15-year-old student from the European School, first uploaded the clip to his own Facebook page, hoping that his friends would get inspired by the “good Samaritan” act, and then decided to upload it to YouTube in order to reach more people.
Once published on the Facebook page “Videoclips Letzebuerg”, its popularity boomed as people clicked 'like' and shared it with their friends.
“I got the idea after seeing similar videos on YouTube, especially from America. They were so impressive, so I wanted to try the same thing in Luxembourg,” Joshua explained.
“The aim was to inspire people to do the same thing when they walk in town and see a person sitting on the ground begging. Instead of ignoring him or her, just look up, say 'hi', greet them,” he said.
Despite negative comments from Facebook users referring to the beggars as “Romanian gang members”, the general point of view in the commentary, however, seemed to be that the act was good, whilst people questioned the need to film it and share it on social media.
“I understand why people think it was unnecessary to film it, but we thought it was a more emotional way of passing the idea on to other people. When you tell your friends you did it during the weekend, they say 'okay, cool', but the video has more of an impact,” Joshua said.
“Of course you can never really know who's hiding behind the face. I don't know if they're really homeless or if they live in a villa on the side of town, and I don't know the reasons why they're homeless. Maybe it's because of drugs or alcohol, but we had only good intentions with doing this,” Joshua explained and also said that he had expected some negative comments to start flowing in after making the video public.
“We did it again last weekend, but without filming it. We wanted to show that it's not an attention-seeking act,” Joshua said, saying the group planned to contact a homeless shelter with a collaboration proposal.