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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.

April 22, 2013 Vol. 10, No.14

"Life is the flower for which love is the honey."
-- Victor Hugo

OUR SIXTH PROMISELAND SCHOOL – the Bierzwnica School

Today, we continue our tenth anniversary series highlighting the work of the foundation over the past ten years. Many of you have been on this journey with us from the beginning. As you read the comments and look at the pictures, we hope you are proud of the accomplishments and differences we have made together in the lives of our PromiseKids. Some of you are newer to the Foundation. May this series encourage you to become even more active in the wonderful work the Foundation is doing in the PromiseLand!

The Bierzwnica School.

Bierzwnica, with its 600 people, is the second largest village in Swidwin County. Although most people try to find jobs in Swidwin, which is about 12 km away, as in some of our other villages, many parents have to leave their children with grandparents or other family members to go abroad and earn money for their families. They usually go to Germany or England, where they work as painters, waiters, caregivers or carpenters. This is understandable, as the average income per month in this area, is 1700 PLN (around $525) and the unemployment rate is high, reaching 30%. Most of the Communist era cooperative farms, which were located in Bierzwnica, now lay dormant and in ruins.

The Bierzwnica School is one of our largest schools, because the primary school and the middle school are combined in one building. The school itself sits on the village’s main road, right next to an historical church.

Meg Ciucka, FCSR’s Regional Director and Basia Kolaczynska, our Arts and Dance Teacher, visited the Bierzwnica School last week to speak with the principal, Irena Sołtowska and some of our PromiseKids.

Irena is a dedicated educator. She has been a teacher at the Bierzwnica School for 42 years and became the principal 20 years ago! She studied Russian Philology in the Soviet Union. Sadly, this school year is her last year as the principal of the Bierzwnica School as she will be retiring in June. Irena has been a dear friend of the Foundation for the past ten years. She will be sorely missed, but we wish her all the best during her well deserved retirement!

When you enter the Bierzwnica School, the first room on the right is the cheerful lunch room. Meg and Basia could tell it was time to eat! They could smell the pea soup wafting through the hallways and saw a big crowd of kids gathered in the room.

One of the first students they met was 10 year old Bartek. Holding a spoon in hand, he was the first one in the lunch line! “Today they serve pea soup. It’s one of my favorites! I never pass up the chance to get a second helping!”

There is always a teacher on “lunch room duty” to help the students. Today, it was History teacher, Marta Jalowska. We’ve known Marta for years. She came to the Dinner Dance in Warsaw two years ago. When asked about the impact of the FCSR on the Bierzwnica School, she enthusiastically replied:

“The Foundation is a huge part of our school life. Kids love the programs FCSR offers. I think the one that they love most is the trip to Warsaw for the Dinner Dance. They are so excited when they get ready for the auditions and then for the big performance in the ballroom at the Hilton Hotel. It means so much to them. When they return home they seem to look more mature and brighter. The parents and teachers can’t imagine our school without the Foundation.”

Of course, Meg always likes to catch up with the students in our English Language Program, “Dreams Come True”. In this case, it was with Michalina and Weronika, who are the top English students at the Bierzwnica School.

“I always wanted to learn English. We do have English classes at school, but it’s not enough. Learning English online is great! We learn so much and the grammar especially seems to be so much easier now. In the future I would like to go to London. I think it’s one of the best cities in the world. My dream is to go to England and speak the language with no problems!” - Michalina.

“And I always wanted to speak good English because I know it’s very important when you apply for a job. I know that most employers require good English language skills.”- Weronika.

And we hope Michalina and Weronika, that your dreams Do come true!

Their English teacher, Beata Jalowska added: “My students love studying English. I think it’s thanks to the FCSR English Online Program. Children stay after school, take their time and do their online lessons. The students who participate in the program have better grades than the rest of the students. They ask more questions and want to know more. We try to speak English during the classes as much as we can, as this is the only time when they can speak English. Unfortunately, they don’t have any opportunities to go abroad, meet people and actually speak the language outside of school.”

Bierzwnica school had a very special English teacher three years ago. It was Brian Burrough, an American and the Principal Director of FCSR member company, Primmo Real Estate. He devoted a week of his valuable time to help support our “Dreams Come True” English Language Program in the PromiseLand. Brian wanted to help our teachers and PromiseKids learn a little English from a native English speaker, and off to the PromiseLand he went.

“My visit to the Bierzwnica school was a lot of fun. The most important thing I can say is that the kids are normal young teens. The Foundation allows kids to enjoy life and school because they are well nourished.” says Brian.

Every summer the Warsaw InterContinental Hotel hosts the top students from each of our schools for a three day trip to Warsaw. Besides staying at the 5-star hotel, the students visit the cultural and historical sights of Warsaw.

Milena, a 2012 Intercontinental Scholar had this to say about her experience:

“It wasn’t so easy to get selected as the InterContinental Scholar! I had to work really hard. You really have to be an A student and behave well all throughout the school year! No excuses. It’s very motivational to all of us. Everyone wants to go, but only one person is selected. The three days spent in Warsaw were so much fun! It was great to see in person all the historical sites I had only read about. The best part however, was returning to the hotel each day and swimming in the pool on the 43rd floor! The Hotel staff was so nice to us and the food was so delicious. We really felt like VIP guests!”

And there is much more…

Thanks to the generosity of Foundation member companies Colgate-Palmolive and P&G, the students at Bierzwnica receive cleaning supplies, shampoos, soaps, toothpastes and toothbrushes.

Children from Bierzwnica also receive school supplies from our wonderful member company Primo Polska each year.

Thanks to Foundation member Mc Donald’s, every June our graduating students from Bierzwnica are taken to the city of Kolobrzeg and the Baltic Coast for a day of fun filled activities.

“The trip was great! The best part was the boat ride and lunch at Mc Donald’s. There are no Mc Donald’s restaurants near our village, so that’s why it’s so much fun to all of us! - Kasia, 2012 graduate.

“The best part was the Multikino. We went to see Sleeping Beauty and I loved it! My sister is going on the trip this year and she can’t wait! I would go there again if I could!” said Kamila.

The Bierzwnica school children also took part in our You Can Dance program last year. First auditions took place a week ago and we have 34 contestants that qualified to go on to the next round! They will now go to the Lekowo school for the finals.

The children from the Bierzwnica preschool received Christmas gifts from the British School in Warsaw. They were so happy because they received gifts they thought they could only dream about.

“I asked for a tractor but never believed I would actually get it! I dreamt about playing with a tractor toy! It’s my best toy and I play with it after school.” - Damian.

“I don’t have many toys at home. I always dreamt about Hot Wheels cars. I showed them to my family, but I always keep them in a special place at home so that they don’t break.” - Marcin.

Is there any question that the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility, and its members, plays a special role in the educational, social and cultural life of our PromiseKids at the Bierzwnica School? Thank you members, for all you do!

MAJORITY OF POLES WORRIED ABOUT FUTURE – POLL

As many as 73% of Poles are pessimistic about the future saying that the situation in the country is developing in an undesired direction, a TNS Polska survey showed.

Only 15% of respondents said that Polish affairs are developing well and 12% did not have an opinion.

The percentage of Poles who are pessimistic about the future has gone down by 2 percentage points since the previous poll in March and of those who are optimistic has remained unchanged.

OMBUDSWONAM ORGANIZES DEBATE ON IMMIGRATION IN POLAND

The lack of cost-free legal aid and the incarceration of adults and children in closed compounds are among the problems suffered by immigrants in Poland discussed at a Thursday meeting hosted by Poland's Ombudswoman Irena Lipowicz.

Lipowicz especially focused on the incarceration of foreigners in closed centers, in which they are subject to prison like conditions.

MORE POLES WOULD CHOOSE TO WORK ABROAD

Almost one third of working Poles would like to look for employment abroad, according to a survey commissioned by employment services firm Work Service.

The figure is 28%, which is two times the figure from a year ago. The most popular work destinations were Germany (named by 30 % of those who would like to leave), the United Kingdom (16.9 %) and countries in Scandinavia (7.9%).

The survey also found that the age group most likely to leave Poland for work reasons is 45-54.

POLES’ ARREARS UP BY 9% Y/Y

Poles have built up arrears of PLN 39.3 billion at the end of Q1-2013, up by 9% year on year, BIG InfoMonitor researcher said in a BIG report.

The sum is up by 2% compared to end-January level, the report also shows.

The number of debtors at the end-Q1 amounted to 2.26 million persons.
Poles' overdue debt is expected to exceed PLN 40 billion within 2-3 months, according to the report.

MINISTRY MAY DECIDE ON VAT REDUCTION THIS YEAR

Poland’s Ministry of Finance will decide on a possible VAT decrease in the second half of 2013, Deputy Finance Minister Maciej Grabowski said. A Possible decrease of the highest 23% Vat rate could come into force in 2014, the minister said.

There are no definite plans to reduce the rate, Mr. Grabowski stressed. He said that the final decision will be influenced by the level of budget revenue and the state of the economy in Poland and in Europe. NAP

COLLEGES BATTLE DEMOGRAPHY ISSUES

A decreasing number of young adults in Poland is affecting the country’s colleges and universities. Over the last two years the number of private schools has fallen by 19 to 309. In the previous decade, the number had been constantly growing. According to data from statistics office GUS, the number of 19-year-olds – this is the age that Poles usually complete high school - in Poland is 498,000. Five years ago the number was 581,000.

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

"I would like to be remembered as someone who accomplished useful deeds, and who was a kind and loving person. I would like to leave the memory of a human being with a correct attitude and who did her best to help others."

-- Grace Kelly

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