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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.

June 03, 2013 Vol. 10, No.20

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

SPOTLIGHT ON OUR STAFF – MEG CIUCKA

Over the past few weeks we have highlighted the ten schools and the students that the Foundation serves. All of this work would not be possible without the commitment of our dedicated staff, some of whom have been with us from the very beginning. As we continue with our tenth anniversary celebration, we’d like to turn the spotlight in their direction…

Małgorzata Ciućka, FCSR Regional Director

Meg began her adventure with the Foundation in 2007, working as an English Teacher. She traveled from one school to another teaching English in a traditional way. Today, she is the Regional Director of the Foundation and serves as the Foundation’s eyes and ears with our PromiseKids, parents, school directors, kitchen staff, and local government officials. Together with Basia Kolasińska (FCSR Arts Director), she runs the FCSR office in Swidwin. She also coordinates the Foundation’s English Program on the e-learning platform, "Dreams Come True."

Meg originally came from the city of Szczecin. She graduated from the University of Gdansk with a degree in English. Prior to working for the Foundation, she taught in local preschools and in primary classes. In 1997, together with her husband Adam, she moved to Swidwin. They have two beloved children, twelve-year-old son Jakub, ten-year-old daughter Urszula, a cat and a dog.

Adam pastors the Assemblies of God Church in Swidwin, and Meg teaches Sunday school and sings in the church choir.

Her main interest is the methodology of teaching English as a foreign language and in simultaneous translation from English into Polish. She loves reading world literaure classics. Meg's also a big movie fan and enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, taking photos and meeting new people.

In 2007, when the Foundation board decided to branch out from the Hot Meal Program and teach our PromiseKids the English language, we searched for a good teacher.

Meg recalls: "I strongly believe that everything happens in life for a reason. In 2007 I was teaching English language evening courses and one of my students was a very nice, tiny person named Basia Kolasinska. She was there to study English, but she was also looking for the right person to teach in the Foundation’s English program. Thanks to Basia, I got this job and I still owe her one! That's how it all started.

I remember the day I met Bill and Natalia at Halina's kitchen. I was so shocked when I found out about the Foundation’s work here. I knew it was the right place for me! And what a great job it has been! I love teaching children. Working for the Foundation has given me the opportunity to do just that.”

"Bill always says that my job is to be the eyes and ears of the Foundation in the PromiseLand. That's why I'm seldom in the photos - because I'm the one who's usually taking the pictures. Indeed, working for the Foundation is never boring.Sometimes you have to be a singer, a dancer, a driver, a translator,an editor, whatever is needed. I love it!I always trust Bill. Whatever we have to do for the well being of our PromiseKids - if Bill says do it - I'll do it!”

"Actually, every program we carry out in the PromiseLand is rewarding to me. There are so many moments that remain in my memory. One such time was when 72 PromiseKids from Nielep school got brand-new trainers from our member companies - to see their happy faces - unforgettable! I still remember last Christmas; Santa Claus from the British School in Warsaw, and the Primary School in Mysiadlo, came to visit the Oparzno school kids. The kids got so many outstanding Christmas gifts. Most of them have never seen such toys. Every time we make these kids happy, it makes me happy too."

"If I were to chose one moment or a program that is the most rewarding, that would be "Dreams Come True" – the Foundation’s English Program and its continuation, the "Reagan Liberty Education Tours." Thanks to the Foundation and our member companies, the PromiseKids have an opportunity to learn English for five years, for free and that's awesome! As a matter of fact, each year we increase the number of participants. This year, 250 kids took part in the course and in the competition. I absolutely love this idea. We open up windows of opportunities for them. There is also a real sense of pride and accomplishment for those who win the competitions. I remember when we sent Angelika, one of our top students,to London. When I saw all her photos, I felt as if I had been there with her. It's so rewarding to see that we made a difference at that moment in her life."

"When kids leave their village schools and go to high schools in Swidwin, you might think we would lose touch with them, but that’s not true. We're still in their memories and lives; very often they visit us in the office. A good case in point is when, a few years ago, we sent three of our best English speakers to the US for the "Reagan Liberty Education Tours." By sending them to America, we really gave them a chance to make their dreams come true, and that's a major WOW! They came back with a whole different attitude and zest toward life. I'm still in touch with them: Gosia is an excellent economics student and this year she will go to Cyprus to continue her studies. Andrzej studies mechanical engineering in Szczecin and Marcin is an excellent student who plans to study law or journalism."

"I love our team! Bill&Virginia, Natalie and Basia. We're all different, but we complement one another perfectly. The “Girls” are my best friends; we support and understand each other. We even spend our free time together. That in itself stands for FCSR success! Thank you FCSR for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!”

Thank you Meg for sharing your thoughts with us and for all that you do for our PromiseKids. There is no question about Meg’s enthusiasm for the work and programs of the Foundation. And Meg, You’re not only our eyes and ears out there – you’re also our heart! Couldn’t do it without you! You’re the Best!

MCDONALD’S DOES IT AGAIN

Two-hundred and six sixth-grade PromiseKids with their teachers are going to take the trip of their young lives this week thanks to the generosity of our great member company McDonald’s. These PromiseKids will graduate from Elementary School to “Middle School" in just a few days, and McDonald’s will help them celebrate in a way they didn’t think possible.

Thank you McDonald’s… You are the best!

3rd of June: PromiseKids from Mielenko Drawskie and Nętno

4th of June: PromiseKids from Brzeżno

5th of June: PromiseKids from Toporzyk and Bierzwnica

6th of June: PromiseKids from Oparzno and Lekowo

7th of June: PromiseKids from Nowe Worowo, Rzęcino and Nielep

Schedule:

9-10:00 – All aboard

11:00 – Stroll at the seaside

11:30 – 12:30 – Boat trip

Trip to Koszalin and the shopping center “ATRIUM” (McDonald’s and Multikino),

1:30– 2:30 – lunch at McDonald’s.

App. 3:00/3:45 – Multikino: "Epic" in 3D

6:00 – Return home

POLISH SOCIETY:

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE MAY FALL TO 13.5% IN MAY

The registered unemployment rate in May is expected to be 13.5-13.8 percent, Labor Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz told business news station TVN CNBC. In May, we forecast a 0.2-0.5 percentage point drop, partly due to seasonal factors. Last week, Poland's statistics office GUS said that the unemployment rate in April was 14 percent, 3 percentage points less than the figure observed in March.

ANOTHER SCANDAL IN POLISH MEAT PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

A veterinary inspection found an illegal meat-bone meal (MBM) production line in a unit responsible for composting, according to radio station RMF FM. The police also found 4 metric tons of unidentified matter on the site. The composting unit has been closed down. The police are waiting for the results of an analysis by the sanitary inspection.

They said that there is so far no evidence that the owners of the unit sold the MBM. According to the radio station's reporters, the enterprise could have sold the meal as an additive to fodder. It has been forbidden to use MBM to feed animals for over ten years. RMF FM

SUPPORT FOR EU MEMBERSHIP CONTINUES TO FALL

A majority of Poles still support Poland's membership in the European Union, but the number has been falling recently. According to a poll by CBOS, 72 percent of Poles support membership, one percentage point less than a month ago. At the same time, the number of Poles against EU membership grew from 19 to 21 percent. CBOS also said that 33 percent of Poles are of the opinion that Europe's integration has already gone too far. A similar number, 34 percent, spoke in favor of further integration. IAR/PAP

SEJM APPROVES PARENTAL LEAVE EXTENSIO

Poland's lower house of parliament, the Sejm, approved the government proposal to extend parental leaves. The new law was approved with 409 MPs (all those present) voting in favor of it. The regulation will apply to the parents of all children born after December 31, 2012. Parents will be entitled to 20 weeks of maternity leave, including 14 weeks available only to the mother, six weeks of extra leave and 26 weeks of parental leave. The last two types of leave will be available to both parents. Both parents will be able to make use of the leave at the same time, but it will then be limited to 26 weeks. Maternity allowance will equal to 100 percent of the person's salary in the first 26 weeks and 60 percent in the next 26 weeks. If the mother declares she will use all 52 weeks of leave, the allowance will equal to 80 percent of her salary.

POLES PREFER TO PAY CASH

A majority of Poles prefer to use cash when doing their shopping, the National Bank of Poland found in its first analysis of Poles' payment habits. The NBP said that cash is used in 82 percent of transactions in retail, while 16.5 percent of the payments were made by card and 1.6 percent by money transfer. The central bank said that 77 percent of adult Poles have a bank account or a similar account in a credit union and 66 percent have a payment card. The survey also showed that 87 percent of wages are transferred to employees' personal accounts. The NBP said that 25 percent of card holders do not use them to make payments in stores as they see cash as more convenient. Payments below zł.20 stand for 42 percent of all transactions and the average value of a transaction in retail is zł.38, the central bank also said. PAP

OECD: POLAND A MODERATELY GOOD PLACE TO LIVE

Poland scored 5.9 points out of ten in the latest edition of the Better Life Index published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This result places Poland outside the top ten countries in the index. Poland's score was the worst in income (1 point); it also scored just 3.1 points in housing and 3.8 in life satisfaction. The country is however quite safe - it got 9.6 points in this area, as well as 7.8 points in education and 7.1 points in community. Countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovenia scored higher than Poland. Nordic countries, the USA, Switzerland and Canada are in the top ten and the highest rank went to Australia. IAR/OECD

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN 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.

DATES TO REMEMBER

June 3-7th - McDonald’s trip to the Baltic for our 6th graders

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed."

-- Cavett Robert

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