Judit Barbara Horvath
Hero Fest Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft.
What do you do when you see someone on the street staring at a map, or lying on a bench? Eight people out of ten feel that nobody would do anything for them if they were in need for help. Just as many people say they would help others in such situations. Why is there such a contrast? What can you do about that? We have answers for you. Our mission is to make empathy, independent thinking and altruism a common social norm. We work for a society where standing up and acting for others is natural.
High levels of apathy and indifference have many negative effects on individuals and communities in our societies. As a consequence, the bystander phenomenon appears (in a situation when several people are witnessing that someone needs help (e.g. an accident, someone suddenly feeling sick), they fail to act). The spread of stereotype-based prejudice is also growing, which can lead to increased tension and aggression within the society.
We aim for a change in social norms. In ten years we want to reach real social change in Hungary as well as to help promote it in other European countries. Our regular research shoes that social attitudes towards everyday heroism are changing but there is still work to do. A successful outcome in one year would be to reach at least 1000 more teachers, involve more and more young people and schools in our training by sharing our method with them and thus develop our existing Heroes’ community.
We want to tackle the problem at its roots and give people a simple and practical method they can use in everyday life. Our core activity is trainings for teachers. We teach two modules now, Mindset and Bystander effect. During the trainings, participants, guided by certified trainers, identify challenging social situations and become conscious about what is happening around them. They get practical help to widen the range of responses in such situations. They can learn techniques to create positive changes, to improve their lives and the world around them. They will be able to apply the techniques learned in their everyday life and to teach them to others, especially to young people. The trainings always include interactive fieldwork. We organize an international conference once a year.
Our trainings are aimed in first place for teachers and other professionals working with young people. Our secondary target group are young people, especially between 7-18 years. We consider teachers and the young people from upcoming generations as the key for real social change to happen. For teachers we have specialized trainings with special material they can use in the classroom with their students. However, every citizen interested in our trainings can participate.
How is everyday heroism working in other countries/ communities? What is the best way to reach young people? What would you look for in an online training? What is your experience about standing up for others and for yourself?