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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 20, 2013 Vol. 10, No.18

"May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

“YOU CAN DANCE IN THE PROMISELAND” – WINNERS ANNOUNCED

We are pleased to announce the results of the second edition of "You Can Dance in the PromiseLand" - the Foundation’s initiative to help promote dance as a daily part of an active, healthy lifestyle. It is interesting to note that t his competition became one of the favorite programs among all of our PromiseKids in all of our 10 schools. Over 200 PromiseKids from all of the regional schools were eligible to participate. The rules were the same as in the famous TV Show: You Can Dance. Talented dancers skilled in everything from Hip Hop, Krumping and Popping to Salsa, Quickstep and Jive competed to be named the PromiseLand's Best Dancers.

On the 15th of May, 130 PromiseKids who were selected during the first auditions were given a pass and moved on to the final round held in the Lekowo School where they performed solo and group dance numbers in a variety of dance styles. We congratulate the following winners:

SOLO DANCERS:

1st place solo dancer 0-3 graders: Patrycja Kossakowska from Brzeżno School
2nd place solo dancer 0-3 graders: Ewelina Iwańska from Oparzno School
3rd place solo dancer 0-3 graders: Amelia Sypniewska from Bierzwnica School

1st place solo gymnasium dancer: Aron Kolasinski from Bierzwnica
2nd place solo gymnasium dancer: Dominika Hojenta from Brzeżno

TEAMS:

1st place team 0-3 graders: Bierzwnica School
2nd place team 0-3 graders: Bierzwnica School
3rd place team 0-3 graders: Nielep School

1st place team gymnasium: Nowe Worowo School.

All prizes were sponsored by the following companies:

- KFC gift certificates, pens, key chains, mugs and balloons from KFC Szczecin - Mariusz Pentela and Adrianna Krzos the managers of KFC Szczecin
- pencils, pens, erasers, different school supplies from PRIMO - Marta Waś
- toothpaste from Colgate Palmolive
- pens, mints from Athlon Polska
- teddy bears, cups from FCSR

We'd like to thank Ela Wachowiec the director of Lekowo School and her staff Agnieszka Pruss and Karina Karwowska for organizing this competition in their school.

Jury: Barbara Kolasińska FCSR Arts Director, Mariusz Pentela and Adrianna Krzos the Managers of KFC Szczecin, Sebastian Basiejko, Director of Education in Swidwin County, Karina Karwowska Lekowo teacher and Małgorzata Ciućka FCSR Regional Director.

OUR TENTH PROMISELAND SCHOOL – Rzecino Primary School

Today we feature our final school in the tenth anniversary series. As you read about the Foundation’s work with the Rzecino School, I hope you feel some pride in what we have accomplished together in the PromiseLand over these past ten years and feel more committed than ever to continue our work in making life better for our PromiseKids.

The Village:

Rzecino is a village of 300 people located in Rabino county. Most of the people here are pensioners or unemployed and live on social welfare. Unfortunately, the majority of young people, seeing no future for their families, have left the village to find jobs in Germany, usually working as nurses aides, painters or caregivers. A few people are employed at the Dutch company, Rol-Plant, located in Rzecino. The company produces and exports corn. As is the case in most of these villages, the average income is 1 500 PLN, but the unemployment rate is one of the highest, reaching 60%!

According to Basia, FCSR Arts Director:“Rzecino is the poorest village I’ve seen. There is nothing to do here during the day and no after-school activities for the children. It is very boring for the children who live here. The village looks very dull and always quiet.”

The Rzecino Primary School is our smallest school. All the students live in the village and no bus transportation is needed. The school sits next to an old, wooden church.

“I will never forget our first visit to the Rzecino School 6 years ago. It was a cold Fall day and the school was very cold inside. The children were wearing coats and the classes were cut shorter because of the cold. We found out that the school’s heater was broken and that the school had no money to buy a new one. They needed our help badly," remembers Meg Ciucka, FCSR Regional Director.

The Foundation bought a heater for the Rzecino school. However, very soon after we found out that the school didn’t have hot water either, so we also provided them with 5 water heaters. It was the biggest gift we could give them back then!

Last Wednesday, our staff visited the Rzecino School and spoke with the principal, Elżbieta Reinke, some of the teachers and our PromiseKids.

Elżbieta Reinke has been the principal of the school since 2003. Ela is a graduate of Physical Education at Slupsk University.

As always, Ela welcomed us with tea and homemade cake at her office. She told us about her memories of the past 6 years with the Foundation:

“The year 2007 was one of our best years, because we met wonderful people from the Foundation. The day before their first visit, the school heater broke. I didn’t know what to do. It was very cold inside. I thought I would have to close the school... I felt so bad when I had to welcome my guests in the cold hallway. They kept their coats on and couldn’t believe how cold it was inside the school. We had no heat and no hot water. When I explained the situation, Bill Chasey said “yes” right away! He promised his help and within 2 days we had a new heater! A week later we received new water heaters! The kids could wash their hands in warm water. We will always be thankful for this! To this date, my children are warm on the outside because of the heaters and on the inside too, because they receive a hot-meal every day!”

Ela continued: “I remember when in 2008, the Foundation brought CEOs to our school. At that time, I met Ryszald Malec who was a director of Makro Koszalin. He was so moved by our children, that he promised he would visit us again. After a few days I received a phone call that people from Makro Koszalin wanted to take our children on a trip to Miedzyzdroje! They also sent a big package of sweets and candy for all the kids! From then on, people from Makro Koszalin visit us regularly. They always come here before Christmas. There is always someone dressed up as a Santa Claus! Makro is the best!”

In the hallway we meet Kasia Adamus, the kindergarten teacher. This is what she had to say about the Foundation:

“The children look so happy when they get a bowl of soup. The smile on their faces when they receive cleaning supplies and toothbrushes from Colgate-Palmolive and P&G is priceless!"

"And thanks to the Foundation, Makro Koszalin still helps us. Even though Ryszard Malec is no longer a director, the employees still come visit us. Thanks to Katarzyna Deckert , the director of Sales Department at Makro Koszalin we receive school supplies, sweets, many gifts. It’s all collected by Makro Koszalin employees. They visit us at least 4 times a year. We can’t imagine our school without the Foundation or its member company Makro Cash and Carry!”

We also spoke with some of the students. Here’s what they had to say:

“I’m very thankful for the different meals we get every day. My favorites are the soups, especially tomato and pea.” - 7 year old Małgosia.

“Me too! I actually like any kind of soup. They are all delicious. I always ask for seconds” – 7 year old Kasia.

Some of our InterContinental Scholars also shared their thoughts:

“It was my first time in Warsaw. Now I know that when I grow up I want to live there or in a different big city! There is so much to do, so many movie theaters, restaurants and fun things to do. I especially remember the farewell party. There were balloons everywhere and we even had a chocolate fountain!” -13 year old Michał

“Everything was so elegant. The hotel rooms were so comfortable. I shared mine with a friend from Toporzyk. We had our own TV and a huge bathroom! The best part was the swimming pool on the 43rd floor! It was one of my best trips ever!” - 12 year old Ola.

And there is much more…

Thanks to Foundation member Mc Donald’s, Rzecino children take graduation trips to Kolobrzeg every June. You can imagine what a treat this is. For most of the children, this is not only their first trip to the Baltic coast, but even outside of their village.

“My favorite part of the trip was the Multikino. I had never been to Multikino before. We had popcorn and juice there. It was also my first time at Mc Donald’s! The burger was sooo good!” - 2012 graduate

The children at Rzecino school also received mugs featuring many of their favorite cartoon characters from FCSR member company Cartoon Planet.

Thanks to the British School in Warsaw the children in Rzecino received school uniforms. The parents were very thankful to the British school because they could not afford buying uniforms for their children.

Although this brings to a close our series featuring the schools and PromiseKids we serve every school day, it is my sincerest hope that you will keep them in your hearts and minds throughout the days and years ahead. It is obvious that while the lives of our kids have improved, there is still much work to be done…

Next week, we will feature some of the people behind the scenes who work everyday to keep the promises we made to this region ten years ago.

POLISH SOCIETY:
FEWER CHILDREN BORN IN POLAND SINCE 2008

The total fertility rate for Poland was 1.30 in 2011, according to data from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat. In the last 10 years, the rate, which shows the average number of children a woman has, reached its peak in 2009 at 1.40 and then started falling gradually. It was noted that this trend is similar all over Europe.

An analysis carried out by the CIA shows that the trend will continue. In Poland, the total fertility rate is expected to fall to 1.28 in 2013. This places Poland 212nd in a list of 224 countries.

POLES FEEL SAFE, POLL FINDS

Most Poles feel safe, according to a recent poll carried out by CBOS. The Pollister said that 64% of the respondents find Poland a safe place to live. As many as 89 % said that the neighborhood they live in is safe and quiet. This level of security has been observed for the last 12 month. At the same time, 60 % of the respondents do not fear becoming the victim of a crime and 21 % said they were victims of ccrimes over the past 5 years.

FEWER POLES GETTING MARRIED

Over three-fifths of Poles (63%) accept the fact that young couples are putting off or giving up the decision to get married, the latest survey conducted by CBOS pollster shows.

This acceptance has grown by 6 percentage points since 2008.

However, the poll has also shown that Polish society is still attached to the institution of marriage. Most Poles (54%) support legalizing informal partnerships, and 15% believe that marriage is the only solution and 39% say that it is a good choice but no-one should be forced to get married.

HELP OUR PROMISEKIDS

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

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."

-- Mark Twain

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