Ordinary Heroes is a multimedia educational project that utilizes stories of rescue and moral courage to promote tolerance, reconciliation and interethnic cooperation. PCRC’s intervention strategy incorporates 4 primary components: 1) the “Heroes in training” Youth Workshops; 2) the Ordinary Heroes Documentary Series; 3) the Srđan Aleksić Youth Competition; and 4) the “Rescuers” Traveling Photography Exhibition.

The project’s design incorporates cutting-edge research and reconciliation approaches, based on the work of Dr. Ervin Staub and Dr. Philip Zimbardo. Much of the four components’ content is based on the former’s research into rescuer behavior, moral courage and bystandership, and the latter’s work on inspiring ordinary people to act as heroes and agents of social change. The project combines these two concepts, and applies them to promote intercultural understanding and cooperation. The Ordinary Heroes project’s multi-ethnic approach is unique to intervention strategies currently being used in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Firstly, the rescuers narratives’ represent all constituent ethnic groups, highlighting their similarities while reducing the significance of identifying perpetrators and victims. Secondly, participants are selected on the basis of maintaining a balance between constituent ethnic groups (including Bosnia’s often marginalized ‘others’ category of Jewish and Roma communities, and youth from mixed marriages). This encourages intercultural dialogue, collaboration and the building of cross-cultural bridges.

This project has been designed for expansion and replication as its emphasis on pro-social behavior and intercultural awareness can be utilized in a broad range of contexts worldwide, therefore, PCRC will be developing project materials that can be shared with partners and like-minded organizations interested in implementing this project in their communities.

Click here to learn more about the Srđan Aleksić Youth Competition