A first aid course aims to teach that every life is worth saving

In 2022, the news cycle is a stark daily reminder that not every life is valued the same. Bank BNP Paribas, the Red Cross, and VMLY&R Poland saw a unique moment in time to inspire the world to change. 

They created First Aid for Humanity, a first aid training course aiming to teach participants, and beyond, that every life is worth saving. They used dummies that look like real people who often face biases and discrimination in the Polish society: Grzegorz, a homeless man; Khedi, a Muslim refugee, and Krzysztof “Leon”, a genderqueer activist.

During the course, 24 people learned life-saving skills with the unusual dummies which caused fear, anxiety and curiosity. Participants had to see past differences and confront their prejudices to learn to save a life.

At the end of the course, the participants had the opportunity to meet with the people who inspired the dummies and hear their stories; ultimately starting to close the empathy gap. 

“With our social experiment, we wanted to check whether we are able to help every person, regardless of their origin, religion, gender identity or social situation. Our participants confronted their beliefs to the poignant stories of our heroes. First aid is necessary in crises and everyday life alike. The need to provide it may arise suddenly and affect all of us.” Says Dariusz Maciołek, CMO, Bank BNP Paribas.

“As the world shows incredible generosity, reports of discrimination keep emerging, and news outlets are called out daily for their biased coverage. I believe this initiative takes us out of our comfort zone to show the inhumanity of our empathy gap,” added Dawid Szczepaniak, Poland CCO, VMLY&R.

“I believe First Aid for Humanity will help people overcome their prejudices and reinforce the right attitudes in society,” said Michal Mikolajczyk, President of the Polish Red Cross in Mazovia.

The recording of First Aid for Humanity will become official training material for the Polish Red Cross. It will be used at first aid events or campaigns and will be available in Polish schools teaming up with the organisation.

First Aid for Humanity is supported by a fully integrated campaign and will be live from today across social media, TV and cinema. It is also supported by Maciej Stuhr, a renowned Polish actor and comedian, Ane Pizl, a medical rescuer, educator and LGBTQIA activist, and Sylwia Chutnik, a Polish novelist and social activist, among others.

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