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THE FOUNDATION FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS A NETWORK OF 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.

March 11, 2013 Vol. 10, No.8

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
-- Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

OUR FIRST PROMISELAND SCHOOL – Brzezno School

With today’s newsletter, we begin our tenth anniversary series highlighting the work of the foundation over the past ten years. To those of you who have been on this journey with us over these years, we hope you will be proud of the accomplishments and differences we have made together in the lives of our PromiseKids. For those of you who are newer to the Foundation, we hope this series will encourage you to become even more active in the work of the Foundation and in the lives of our PromiseKids.

This week we start with the very first school adopted by the Foundation- the Cardinal Ignacy Jez Elementary/Middle School in the town of Brzezno.

Brzezno is a small Polish village 455 kilometers (282 miles) from Warsaw, located in the Swidwin County. Its gray buildings line the road leading from the south. It is the same bland, boxy architecture left by socialism throughout Poland 23 years ago. When it rains, ankle-deep puddles form along the side of the road. A traveling trader under a tarpaulin sells cheap goods from cardboard cartons at the town’s only crossroads. The people in Brzezno and nearby smaller villages were employed on cooperative farms under the Communist system of government and they have fallen on tragic times since the farms and their jobs went away in 1989. This region has unemployment rates as high as 30%. The average income is 1 800 PLN and people usually take temporary jobs like picking strawberries, chopping wood or working in small local businesses. Poland's economic miracle has yet to arrive in Brzezno…

The Brzezno School, with its 343 students, sits in the very center of the town. It is one of the few buildings with any paint, and it shines in its light pastel yellow, compliments of an EU grant a few years ago.

Recently, our staff visited the Brzezno School and spoke with the principal and some of our PromiseKids. The following is a summary of their impressions.

When we enter the Brzezno School we see familiar faces, children we’ve known for years. Most of them we met when they were 5 year - old kindergarten kids and now they are students in middle school! They look so mature and bright.

We stop by the school office to pay a visit to Marzena Janas, the principal of the Brzezno school. Marzena has been our Foundation’s friend for years. We first met her when she was a kindergarten teacher and deputy principal of the school. She became the principal in 2011. She always has hot tea and cakes ready for us and never misses our Dinner Dances. She is totally committed to her staff and students.

Asked how she viewed the Foundation’s work, Marzena replied: “I’m very thankful to Bill and the Foundation for being with us for so many years. Bill always believed in our kids; he always repeated that they have to believe in their dreams. They remember it and thanks to the help they get from the Foundation, they really believe they can achieve something big in their lives. I can’t imagine the school in Brzezno without our Foundation”

One of the first students we meet is Ola Kossakowska, our 1% poster girl. (see below) Many of you will remember Ola’s family whom we portrayed in our “Mama” DVD at one of our first Dinner Dances. At the time, Ola, her parents and her four siblings lived in a small, one-room house without indoor plumbing. The Foundation decided to help this wonderful family, not only through the hot-meal program, but also renovating their house to provide proper plumbing and roofing.

But for Ola, the Foundation took her beyond her village. Besides being a beautiful girl, Ola is an excellent student. She was selected to participate in the FCSR Intercontinental Scholars Program and earned a 3-day trip to Warsaw. In Ola’s words: “My biggest dream was to visit a big city and believe me or not - it all happened! I was invited to the InterContinental Hotel in Warsaw. It was the most exciting adventure of my life. I saw our big, modern capital city, the old town and the zoo for the first time! I was at the swimming pool and also went bowling for the first time in my life! Thank you Foundation and Intercontinental Hotel!”

Next we stop in the lunchroom where our PromiseKids are being served their Foundation Hot Meals. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle as the kids enjoy their hearty food – for many of them, the only hot meal they will eat that day. We wonder how the kids like their meals and what some of their favorites are…

“My favorite meal is the cooked chicken, mashed potatoes, green vegetables and of course a glass of chocolate milk,” says Natalia, one of our PromiseKids. “And my favorite soup is the tomato soup.”- she adds.

“And I love soups, all kinds of soup… tomato, vegetable soup, any kind,” says 7 year-old Patryk.

We move into the hallway between classes and catch up with a few more of our PromiseKids, asking them what Foundation programs they enjoy the most.

“I love art classes with Ms Basia!” says Patrycja. “I've been dancing and singing in "Diament" since I was 8 years old. After all these years I can truly say that dancing is my biggest hobby. I cannot live without it and I’m so thankful to Ms Basia for what she’s done for me and our musical group."

Our Foundation provides dance and arts classes to the kids in Brzezno. The musical group Diament (Diamond) represents our Foundation in many vocal and dance competitions. Their biggest success was getting 1st prize at the International Children’s Song Competition in Trzebiatow. The children from Brzezno have participated in the Dinner Dance in Warsaw six times and each time with different kids. In fact, it was the Brzezno PromiseKids who performed at our first Dinner Dance at the Warsaw Marriott.

“I love studying English!” says Monika, “I've been participating in the FCSR English program for 4 years and each year I win a prize for being a top student among 250 participants! I come from a poor family and my parents could not afford private classes. In the future I would like to study English at the university and find a good job in the big city. I believe that English language is the key to success."

The Foundation and its member companies provide English classes to 50 Brzezno students each year. The program is very popular among the kids in Brzezno. “The kids who participate in the FCSR English program have improved their English language skills. They are more motivated and eager to learn”- says Ania Stuka, English teacher responsible for the FCSR English Program at Brzezno.

Thanks to the generosity of our Foundation and the Reagan Legacy Foundation in the USA, the top two English Program students from Brzezno middle school were selected to participate in the Reagan Legacy Tour. Marcin Raulin and Andrzej Mikulko will never forget the two weeks they spent in the U.S. It was a life changing experience for them.

“I was very afraid to go the U.S. I wasn’t sure if my English skills were enough. I was wrong. The trip opened my eyes and I understood that everything in life can change for better. I can change everything. And I did. I have beautiful dreams and I will do my best to make them come true”- says Andrzej Mikulko, now a student of engineering at Szczecin University. Marcin decided to become a journalist and also plans to study at the University in Szczecin.

“We love our playground, we go there during recess in school and after school; we can play on it all day long!”- says preschooler Hanna.

The school received a playground from Foundation member company, KFC. The only playground equipment in the bleak village, thanks to KFC, is here, and there is no other place for the children to run around and play,

And there is much more…

Thanks to the generosity of Foundation member companies Colgate-Palmolive and P&G the students at Brzezno receive cleaning supplies, shampoos, soaps, toothpastes and toothbrushes. They also receive school supplies from our wonderful member company Primo Polska each year.

Thanks to Foundation member Mc Donald’s, Brzezno children take graduation trips to Kolobrzeg. It’s a major wow for the children as most of the PromiseKids have never seen the Baltic, been aboard a boat, been inside a movie theater, frequented a shopping mall, played on a beach, or dined at McDonalds!

In addition, Foundation member company ODiTK sponsored a model Strategic Economic Simulation Game for the Brzezno students. The game provided the children with the opportunity to learn about money, the economy and basic math skills in a simulation game that was both fun and educational.

-Thank you Natalie, Meg and Basia for your report!

As you can see, FCSR is an integral part of the educational, social and cultural life of our PromiseKids at the Brzezno school. Ten years ago I made a promise to the kids, the staff and the families of Brzezno that I would help them have a better life, develop their potential and fulfill their dreams. With the help of our Foundation members, I believe we have kept that promise.

JOBLESS RATE OVER 14 PERCENT AS GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FALLS

A preliminary report issued by the Labor Ministry put Poland’s unemployment rate at 14.2 percent at the end of January. This represents an increase over December’s jobless rate which was officially 13.4 percent. The 2013 budget is calculated on the assumption that unemployment will go down to 13 percent by the end of the year.

Based on returns from job centers, the highest unemployment in Poland is located in the north-eastern Warmia and Mazury province (22.3 percent.) and our PromiseLand, the Zachodniopomorskie region (19.1 percent). The lowest rate is in the western Wielkopolska region at 10.7 percent.

According to the ministry, the spike in unemployment is due to “the suspension of seasonal work during the winter months,” among other factors, although the jobless rate has been rising for some months.

A week ago, the Monetary Policy Council cut Poland’s interest rates for the fourth month running, in an attempt to kick start the ailing economy. The economic slowdown in Poland could be one reason why support for the ruling Civic Platform has fallen this month (source: the news.pl).

DINNER DANCE PHOTOS – OUR LAST REMINDER, SO PLEASE VISIT OUR SITE

Our crack team of Dinner Dance photographers did an exceptional job memorializing our special event for all to see. They took over 4,000 photos and have been heavily burdened getting them out for your enjoyment and use. Thank you Tomek Kowalski and dobrezdjecia.pl for the wonderful photos!!

Please click on the link to see the photos: http://dobrezdjecia.pl/fcsr_dinner_dance_190113/

You can also find the photos on our main webpage www.fcsr.pl

POLISH WOMEN WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN AND PURSUE CAREERS

Most women in Poland would like to have more than one child and a growing number of them want to work, a survey conducted by CBOS shows. The pollster said 86 percent of young women (18-28) want to have a least one child. In the group of women who have one child and are 18-31 years old, 59% want to have a second child. Women are more likely to plan having children if they know they can count on assistance from their family, especially from their parents.

The number of Polish women willing to pursue professional careers has grown in the last years. CBOS also said. Now 44 % of them would like to work, even if their partner’s income would be sufficient for the family needs. However, they feel that they are not treated equally at work. (Puls Biznesu)

YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL WHEN WE PURCHACE FOOD FOR OUR PROMISEKIDS

A meat factory in the northern town of Swiecie which has allegedly been accepting out of date moldy returns and reusing them in other products has been closed down.

The scandal was brought to the attention of Health Inspectors by undercover journalists of TVN’s “Uwaga” program who claim that the practice has been going on for years. Among the scenes captured on camera was one showing a factory employee sifting through out of date meat that had been returned and giving instructions to reuse it in other products. “A whole leg of pig was returned. It was wrapped in foil and in the middle there was water and it was white with fungus. It was washed and heated up and used as new,” a company insider told a journalist.

In addition to closing the factory, meat goods produced there are now being recalled from shops in a number of countries including Germany, Ireland and the UK.

The District Prosecutor’s office in Swiecie is now conducting an investigation into the matter and spokesman Boguslaw Mikolajczak has stated that the factory will remain shut until further notice. The factory has released a statement saying that measures have been taken to ensure the food produced there is safe and to reassure anxious consumers that such behavior has no place in the company. (New Poland Express)

DONATE 1% AND HELP POOR CHILDREN IN POLAND!

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Foundation For Corporate Social Responsibility became a Public Benefit Organization(OPP) and now is qualified to receive 1 % of your income tax!

The primary focus of our Foundation is to serve poor Polish children. To date, the Foundation has fed over 4 - million meals to needy Polish children. Presently, the Foundation feeds children from 10 Polish schools and provides many education programs( English Online Program, Arts and Dance Program, and more). Please visit www.fcsr.pl to find out more.

IMPORTANT! When filling out your PIT please enter our full KRS number:

KRS 0000180452

Please click on the video to see what we do to help needy Polish children!

"FCSR - Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility. This is a 1 minute movie promoting the foundation's "Please Donate 1%" program. www.fcsr.pl PRODUCED by: Pablo Montano - Gooday FILMS. Member of FCSR. info@gooday.pl MUSIC by: "The Broken" by Admiral Bob (feat. jeris) www.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/33304 is licensed under a Creative Commons license: www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/"

Thanks to your donation and support we can FEED, EDUCATE and EMPOWER the poorest children in Poland!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT!

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

"A moment of choice is a moment of truth. It's the testing point of our character and competence."

-- Stephen Covey

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