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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.

May 6, 2013 Vol. 10, No.16

"Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress."
-- Gandhi

OUR EIGHTH PROMISELAND SCHOOL – The Nowe Worowo School

If you have ever had any question or doubt about how the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility and its member companies (YOU) can and do impact a school, its students and surrounding community, you must read on… “While today, our PromiseKids look forward to entering this warm, cheerful, modern school, it wasn’t always that way. I’ll never forget that wintry night 6 years ago, when Natalie and I arrived at Nowe Worowo to meet with the parents, principal and teachers. Because of the weather, we were two hours late, but they all stayed and waited for us. I have never been in such a cold, dreary and dilapidated school. I was afraid to walk on the floors and never took my coat off. The parents and teachers were struggling with how to keep this school open. It was the center of the community. They did not want to lose it. Could we help? How could we not? Another promise made; another promise kept by the Foundation.”- Bill Chasey, President, FCSR

Nowe Worowo

Nowe Worowo is a village of about 500 people located 10 km from the town of Połczyn Zdrój. Most people from Nowe Worowo work in the nearby villages of Połczyn, Czaplinek and Zlocieniec in small shops, gas stations and cottage industries.Some of the more fortunate ones have steady employment at the local fish processing plant. Nevertheless, approximately one half of the families need help from social welfare to make ends meet. As is the case throughout this region, unemployment is among the highest in Poland. The ruins of cooperative farms from Communist times are a testimony to the hard times these families have endured for decades now.

The Nowe Worowo School combines primary and middle school students It is comfortably situated near the local Catholic church and the fire department.

Most children are bused in from the nearby villages of Cieminko, Stare Worowo and Chlebowo. It can be quite a long and difficult drive over narrow roads during the winter snows and spring rains.

Recently, Meg and Basia visited the Nowe Worowo School and spoke with the principal, the teachers and some of our PromiseKids…

Meg says, “We are always warmly welcomed at Nowe Worowo and treated as special guests by the teachers, parents and children here. The principal of Nowe Worowo school is Agnieszka Oleszczuk. We first met Agnieszka in 2007 when she was a Math teacher at Nowe Worowo. She became the principal of the school in 2010. She is a graduate of Szczecin University.

“My school functions because of the Foundation. All the renovations here were made by the Foundation and its members. It all began in 2007. It was a cold November day. I remember when we all huddled in a small room waiting for Bill and Natalie to arrive. It was the only room where we could not feel the wind and cold through the old windows. The school was in such disrepair then. When Bill promised his help, we all cried with happiness. The Chaseys and FCSR members Brian Burrough of Primmo Real Estate and Bruce Robinson of EXPO XXI renovated three classrooms that we had previously closed because of the big holes in the floor and rotting windows. It was too cold for the students and teachers in the fall and wintertime. Just look at the classrooms now!

Our children also get fed by FCSR and take part in many projects. We love FCSR!” - Agnieszka Oleszczuk.

Agnieszka continued: “The rest of the school also needed renovation and local authorities did not have the funds to cover the cost. We didn’t have to wait long for FCSR to respond. In 2010 under the FCSR “Team Building with a Purpose Program” another wonderful member company, Cargill Poland brought their employees from all over the world and renovated the preschool and two other classrooms”

“A year later, in 2011, FCSR member company, Ghelamco Poland renovated the rest of the school and bought school supplies for the English, History and Geography classrooms. They also provided the day room with new books, a tv, dvd player and board games. Whenever I think about it, I have tears in my eyes. The whole project was completed in three days! We will never forget Jeroen van der Toolen and his staff!” - Elzbieta Stanislawczyk, the school secretary.

The photo of Ewa Stanisławczyk, Ghelamco team and renovated classrooms by Ghelamco

And there is more…

“FCSR member company InterContinental Hotel provided each classroom with a TV and school supplies. The school also received the Calisia piano! We had no musical instruments back then and had to play music from the cd player. Now we teach the kids how to play the piano and sometimes we are even joined by the Koszalin Philharmonic Quartet. This is such a treat for our kids and their families!” added Ela.

The principal continued: “Another gift we received in 2011 was furniture from the FCSR member company, Primo Polska. Each classroom was equipped with new desks, cabinets and chairs. Now our classrooms look very bright and modern!”

“Whenever I see the FCSR ladies, I know there are good people around us and we are not left alone. We are thankful for the toiletries and cleaning supplies that the school receives from Colgate Palmolive and P&G. The children are so happy when they receive those toothpastes, toothbrushes and soaps, and all those cleaning supplies. It means so much to them and it’s such a huge help for their families.” - Justyna Kuras-Niedzin, Math teacher.

”It’s my third year at Nowe Worowo school and I have never seen an organization that helps children so much. Not only do the children get a hot meal every day, they also receive free online English lessons! The e-learning platform matches with our school curriculum. It helps students get ready for their middle-class tests,” says Agnieszka Pryboda, the English teacher responsible for the FCSR English program.

Monika Wysoczanska, Biology teacher remembers: “Two years ago our children took part in an FCSR arts and crafts project, sponsored by member company Randstad. The winners were invited to Gdynia for two days where they went on a Clipper Cruise in the Baltic Sea. The children had such a wonderful time on the ship!”

“The Clipper was so much fun. The captain played with us and we pretended we were pirates! It was my first time in Gdynia and I hope we can go there again! – says 10 year old Hania.

Thanks to Foundation member Mc Donald’s, the Nowe Worowo children are taken on graduation trips every June, to Kolobrzeg It’s a major wow for our PromiseKids as most of them have never seen the Baltic, been aboard a boat or been to the movies.

The Nowe Worowo school children also take part in our You Can Dance program.

“It has always been my dream to dance in front of an audience. I love to dance and now I could finally show off my dancing skills. I got to the finals last year and will go there again this year! Hopefully I will win this time! - 13 year old Natalia.

The children in Nowe Worowo school received clothes and shoes from the British school. They also received Xmas gifts thanks to the collection conducted by British school PTA. The clothes and gifts were transported by FCSR member company Move One Relocations.

“I never have had such beautiful shoes. I still wear them. They are navy blue with pink flowers. I have 5 siblings and my parents can’t afford to buy new shoes for me.” - 11 year old Basia.

We hope this story and the testimonies from our PromiseLand teachers and kids are encouraging to you about what we have accomplished together these past ten years. However, there is still much more to do, not only at Nowe Morowo, but at all ten of our schools, plus the many more who contact us everyday asking for help. If you or your company want to become more involved or you know of other companies that want to join us, please contact Natalie or Bill. Ten years is not the end; it’s just the beginning…

FOUNDATION MEMBER HILTON WARSAW HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER JOINS OVER 100 HILTON WORLDWIDE HOTELS ACROSS EUROPE TO LAUNCH CAREER EVENTS FOR TEENAGERS

Hilton Worldwide has announced the launch of Careers@HiltonLive, the company’s biggest ever Europe-wide careers event which will see over 300 events, at more than 100 Hilton Worldwide hotels, across 25 countries. This is the second consecutive year that Hilton Worldwide is hosting this major initiative which is aimed at raising awareness of careers in the hospitality industry.

This year Careers@HiltonLive was focused on career advice for young people in an effort to inspire and inform the next generation about the opportunities that hospitality offers and provide guidance on the employability skills that are important for any career, to help ensure young people have a realistic view of the world of work and the routes into it. Hilton Worldwide’s army of experts will offer first hand advice to thousands of young people across the region and help them make a connection with someone in a career or job they might not have thought about.

Foundation Member Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Center hosted a number of events, with students being invited to the hotel to receive practical tips and advice, as well as team members taking their personal experiences out to schools in the local area.

Over the course of two days (23rd and 24th of April) Hilton Warsaw hosted 50 students from schools outside Warsaw. Apart from hospitality career advice and talks they talked about etiquette, how to write a CV, how to prepare to interview and how to become successful in hospitality.

Erwin Verhoog, General Manager at Hilton Warsaw, said, “Nowadays, the employment market is extremely challenging, especially for young people, who are starting their career paths. We appreciate the fact that as an international company, we can share our knowledge, teach and help young people how to make the first step in professional life.

The travel and tourism sector, that employs 255 million people globally, will provide another 73 million new jobs by the end of 2022. During this time, young people have to learn what skills employers are looking for to cover wide range of hospitality roles.

“This upcoming year will bring to the market 135 new hotels, that will enlarge Hilton Worldwide portfolio to 375 properties across Europe. The opportunities for young people through the range of jobs are growing with our business. We are delighted about raising awareness among teenagers about the opportunities that are waiting for them in hospitality.”

Careers@HiltonLive follows the launch earlier this year of a white paper by Hilton Worldwide and the International Youth Foundation which highlights solutions to youth joblessness that the global hospitality sector is uniquely positioned to provide. Titled Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality, it spotlights the economic and social struggles facing the world’s youth, and presents the hospitality industry with a roadmap for action that focuses on creating career pathways for this emerging workforce.

POLAND’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SEEN DROPPING

Poland's unemployment rate will likely decline when results are in by 0.3-0.4 % in April from 14.3% recorded in March, Deputy Labor Minister Jacek Mecina told a radio audience.

"We expect a deeper joblessness decline by 0.3-0.4 % in April," Mecina said on Radio PIN. "This will be around 14%. I think that 0.3 % [decline] was attainable."

"We expect that the unemployment rate may start growing in September,' Mecina added.

Poland's registered unemployment rate decreased to 14.3% in March from 14.4% in February, the Central Statistical Office (GUS) figures showed.

POLAND DOESN’T PLAN TO LOWER VAT RATES IN COMING YEARS

Poland will maintain VAT rates at the current levels in the coming years. It needs to balance public finances to assure macroeconomic stability, according to the draft convergence program update prepared by the Finance Ministry, PAP Polish news agency reported.

"The need to reduce the public finance imbalance, which is a necessary condition for the macroeconomic stability and long-term economic growth, as well as the very weak condition of the main export markets which limits the growth of the Polish economy, necessitated the decision to keep the current VAT rates unchanged in the coming years," the document shows.

Poland temporarily raised the basic VAT rate to 23% from 22% in 2011 and was supposed to restore a lower rate as of 2014. In late March, PM Donald Tusk said that Poland would need to see a "radical improvement" of the economic situation to bring back basic VAT rate to 22% as of 2014, and that a cut in the VAT rate did not seem probable.

SUPPORT FOR POLAND’S EU MEMBERSHIP FALLS

According to a recent poll by CBOS, support for Poland’s membership in the European Union has declined by 5 percentage points since February to reach 73 percent in April. At the same time the number of Poles against EU membership has increased from 15 to 19 percent. The percentage of those who have a negative opinion about EU institutions has increased significantly over the last four years.

MOTHERS OF THE FIRST QUARTER GET LONGER PATERNAL LEAVE

Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that parents of all children born in 2013 would be able to go on a year-long parental leave. The statement was made after the PM’s meeting with a group of mothers of children born between January 1 and March 16, 2013 (Mother’s of the first quarter). According to legislation prepared by the government maternity leaves were to be extended from 24 weeks to one year on September 1, 2013. The extended parental leave, which also applies to fathers, would apply to all those who will be on leave at that time, meaning that parents of children born before March 17 would have been excluded.

POLAND RANKS 13TH IN SOCIAL PROGRESS INDEX

Poland came in 13th out of 50 countries across the world and seventh in Europe in the latest edition of the Social Progress Index prepared by Social Progress Imperative and Deloitte. Poland scored high in areas such as personal safety and in access to both basic knowledge and to higher education.

The report states that the country should work on providing better housing conditions, avoiding social exclusion and on improving environment protection. The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens.

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.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people's hearts."

-- Lao Tzu

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