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    “Humanity First Aid” – a first aid course that teaches tolerance [VIDEO]

    Are we able to break our stereotypes to save the life of a refugee, a homeless person or a genderqueer? Can first aid training also be a lesson of tolerance? Bank BNP Paribas, in collaboration with Poland’s oldest aid organisation, the Polish Red Cross, asks us whether we would give first aid to a stranger. Together with the agency VMLY&R, both institutions are launching the “Humanity First Aid” project.

    According to a CBOS study, 67% of Poles say they can provide first aid in the event of an accident, but only 19% are fully confident in their skills in this area.


    “The success of a CPR is influenced by many factors. Above all, rapid detection and alerting of the emergency service. Secondly, knowledge of the principles of first aid (…) The most important thing, however, is the willingness to take action, and unfortunately, we still often remain passive witnesses of accidents. With the campaign “Humanity First Aid” we want to raise awareness of the need to provide help to anyone in need, to educate society on the right attitudes, but also to remind the principles of conduct in case of accidents,” Michał Mikołajczyk, president of the Mazovian Regional Branch of the Polish Red Cross (PCK), said.


    Would we carry first aid in the event of an emergency, and would we give it to any person, regardless of their appearance? According to a report by the University of Warsaw Center for Research on Prejudice, Polish society is highly polarized in this regard.


    That is why BNP Paribas Bank and the Warsaw branch of the Polish Red Cross organised a social experiment under which first aid training was given to a group of 24 random people. After the theoretical part, which was led by the PCK instructors, the participants were invited to the room where they expected practical exercises on the phantoms. These, in turn, reflected the appearance of three real characters: Grzegorz Sękowski, a person in the homelessness crisis; Khedi Alievy, a refugee from Chechnya, and Krzysztof “Leon” Dziemaszkiewicz, genderqueer.



    The unusual appearance of the CPR training mannequins caused dismay, fear in others or curiosity. This cognitive dissonance allowed everyone to deal with their own beliefs, barriers and stereotypes.


    After performing a series of exercises on simulation puppets that simulated unconscious persons, the participants were able to learn more about the models of the CPR training mannequins on which they performed the resuscitation and learn their impressive stories.


    “With our social experiment, we wanted to find out if we could help everyone, regardless of origin, religion, skin colour, sexual orientation and gender identity or disability. Participants of this experience are not only confronted with the poignant stories of our heroes, but also with their own deeply hidden beliefs. The motivation to help is emotional. First aid is essential not only in crises such as wars or natural disasters, but also in everyday life, and the need to provide help can arise suddenly and affect all of us,” Dariusz Maciołek, Director of Marketing, Communication and Social Engagement at Bank BNP Paribas, said.


    The recording of this experiment will serve as aid material for the Polish Red Cross, which will be shown during the first aid training sessions. In the next phase, it will also go to schools with which the organisation works, and can be used for events related to first aid or summer campaigns of the PCK.


    The communication idea and the digital activities were prepared by the agency VMLY&R. The agency Warsaw Witches is responsible for the production.


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