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THE FOUNDATION FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS A NETWORK OF 90 INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS ACTIVELY WORKING IN POLAND TO AFFECT POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY. WE FEED, EDUCATE AND EMPOWER POOR CHILDREN IN POLAND. COLLECTIVELY, WE HAVE FED OVER 5 MILLION HOT MEALS TO SOME OF POLAND’S MOST NEEDY CHILDREN. OUR MISSION IS TO LEAD THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN RAISING THE LEVEL AND QUALITY OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

February 18, 2013, Vol. 10, No. 6

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."
-- John Mason

DREAMS DO COME TRUE

Thanks to the support of many of our FCSR member companies and individuals, the Foundation’s Interactive English Program, "Dreams Come True" is in its fourth year. Two hundred and fifty kids come to school early or stay late everyday to study English on computers, interacting in a very intensive, but fun English program.

Our own FCSR staff member in Swidwin, Malgorzata Ciucka, coordinates the program, traveling to all the schools, working with the students and tracking their progress. According to Meg: “Our PromiseKids are doing a great job! They successfully study English every day and most of them do their assignments at the100% level. They are very enthusiastic about the program. I am in touch with all the users via the e-learning platform, where they can send me questions, messages, etc. It’s very exciting to see their progress and watch them grow in their English speaking skills.”

The students have now reached the halfway mark in the course. At the end of February, the top students from the first semester, in each school, will be announced. We hope this will motivate all of them to keep up their hard work during the second semester!

In June, we will award the top students for the year in 5 categoories:

1st place at the beginner level for elementary school
1st place at the elementary level for elementary school
1st place at the beginner level for gymnasium
1st place at the pre-Intermediate level for gymnasium
1st place at the Intermediate level for gymnasium.

At graduation, we would like to present each of the 250 PromiseKids in the program a Polish/English Dictionary, as well as give special awards to the English Program’s top students. The dictionaries cost zl.50 ($17.00) per book. If you would like to help us cover the expenses of the awards and dictionaries, please see PayPal below for US dollars or send your contribution directly to the FCSR account, designating “English Program”. It is our sincere hope that the pursuit of their dreams will be facilitated for our PromiseKids with the development of their English skills. Thank you again for your support of this life changing program!

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET OUR HANDICAPPED CHILDREN.

The deinstitutionalization of handicapped children in America was one of my passions during the late1960s and early 1970s. The topic frequently took me to Capitol Hill to express my views before various oversight committees of the US Congress. Having conducted research with mentally retarded children in some of America’s most deplorable public and private institutions, I had personally experienced some of the most striking examples of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, and I was driven to do something about it.

It took some years and a great deal of lobbying on the part of many of us before our cause was recognized in 1975, with the passage of Public Law 94-142 the "Education of All Handicapped Children Act," now called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (IDEA)

I am proud to say that PL 94-142 required that all handicapped children be educated in the least restrictive environment possible (public schools), and the institutionalization or warehousing of handicapped kids became passé rather quickly. It wasn’t very much longer that all types of American institutions began emptying their back wards and notorious dayrooms, and the institutionalization of all children, including orphans, fell by the wayside.

With this as a background, many of you may now better understand my strong objections to all types of institutions, especially orphanages. I have spoken out vigorously in opposition to orphanages, and especially about what qualifies a child to be an orphan. I have been appalled knowing that some Polish kids, for example, are destined to live out their entire childhoods in orphanages because a phone call each year from an orphan’s parent to their child’s orphanage disqualifies the kid from being adopted into a loving home. In Bulgaria, children are assigned to live out their childhoods in orphanages because they only have one parent and have little chance for adoption.

I admit that I have been exceptionally tough on individuals and organizations that I believe have been perpetuating the orphanage concept in this part of the world for many years. Rather than trying to adopt the kids, change the adoption laws, or to release the orphans to foster care homes, they send gifts at Christmas, clothing and/or money from time to time during the rest of the year. These gifts and cash may go a long way at making them feel socially responsible, but do nothing in the way of changing this disgraceful behavior.

Now, for those of you who have been avoiding me over the years because I didn’t tear up when you sent gifts and money to an orphanage, you can now face me again without trepidation because there is good news on the forefront

The Polish Government just announced plans to close all Polish orphanages by the year 2020. Although they wouldn’t give specific reasons for their action, they did say that they will place the orphans in foster families as soon as possible. The plan comes as a part of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy’s new bill on social welfare in which the process of getting rid of the orphanages would be a gradual one and would start with the youngest orphans.

The project, which begins next year, will mean that as of January 2014 all children under the age of 8 will be with a foster family: five years later only children over the age of 10 will be in orphanages and by 2020 there will be no orphanages!

We do hope to encourage our readers, friends, and leaders to look for student populations that need support. Please let me know if you would like to help us make a difference in the lives of large numbers of Polish students. If you would like to help us in the lives of our PromiseKids, please let me know and make a contribution to our Foundation in the following ways:

1% FCSR

DOLLAR A DAY FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD LIKE TO HELP FEED OUR HUNGRY POLISH CHILDREN

Our Dollar a Day program may be just what you have been looking for and the PayPal method of delivering your money makes it so easy. We pay just about $1.00 to feed one hungry Polish child a hot-meal per school day, $20.00 per month, $200.00 per year. Click PayPal below to contribute.

DATES TO REMEMBER

April 30, 2013 - Last day to fill out your taxes with our KRS 0000180452 number with that all important 1% for Our Promisekids.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."

-- Albert Einstein

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