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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 6 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.

January 26, Vol. 12, No. 3

"Imaginary obstacles are insurmountable. Real ones aren't."
-- Barbara Sher

WE WELCOME NEWTON MEDIA AS A NEW FOUNDATION MEMBER

We welcome Newton Media as a new member of the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility. Newton is a leader in the media analysis and media monitoring industry in Central and Southeast Europe. Newton has a 20-year history of continuous growth in their operations in the Polish, Slovak, and Southeast European markets, and has had a major role in the development of new products and services in these regions. Most importantly, Newton has had an unchanging corporate philosophy based on their conviction that the right decisions are based on quality information, which gives them a fundamental, competitive advantage in today's globalized world.

We will present our Foundation's Gold Seal of Approval to Newton Media during our 12th Annual Dinner Dance to be held at the Hiton Hotel and Convention Center on February 9th. We hope you have all reserved your tables for this gala event.

LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ

This coming Tuesday, January 27th marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp in Oświęcim. Polish President Komorowski will be joined by other international dignitaries and heads-of-state, as well as the last living survivors of the camp, in remembering the between 1.1 and 1.5 million victims who perished there. As such, although this weekend and the next several days will not be an ideal time to visit because of the media circus inevitably surrounding the anniversary, it’s still an appropriate time to reflect on Auschwitz as a sightseeing destination for both tourists and locals.

Ironically, the two groups - tourists and Poles – see the prospect of visiting Auschwitz very differently. For tourists coming to Kraków (or Katowice), the question of visiting Auschwitz looms large, with most viewing Auschwitz as on par with Wawel in terms of must-see ‘attractions,’ despite the fact that the camp lies some 75km away. For those who aren’t here specifically to visit Auschwitz, the idea of visiting when one is so close still seems almost obligatory, even for those with absolutely no Jewish ancestry.

For many Poles, however, a visit to Auschwitz was obligatory – most often as part of a school trip – and the idea of going there voluntarily hardly sounds appealing. In fact, many Poles we know would strongly discourage tourists from going to Auschwitz, instead encouraging them to see as much as they can of Kraków’s rich history, architecture and culture. That attitude is only natural from someone who doesn’t want the worst human tragedy in world history to be among the most memorable and lasting impressions of a foreigner’s visit to their country.

Visitors to Kraków are faced with asking themselves whether or not they will make the effort to visit Auschwitz. It is a difficult question. Having been there, we can tell you that all of the various explanations for avoiding Auschwitz are perfectly reasonable until you’ve actually visited the site; you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who has made the trip and still argues against going.

The Auschwitz Museum and tour present one of the most horrific acts in human history with a level of tact, passion, poignancy and professionalism that is so profound, it almost makes as lasting an impression as the site itself. Without being heavy-handed, the history of the site is presented in all of its contexts, and guests are perhaps spared from fully surrendering to their emotions only by the sheer relentlessness of the information.

No matter how much you think you know on the subject, the perspective gained by visiting is incomparable. Whether or not you choose to go to Auschwitz is up to you to decide. However it should be understood that Auschwitz is not a site of Jewish concern, Polish concern, German concern, gypsy concern, historical concern... It is a site of human concern. As such, we believe everyone should visit. -New Poland Express

POLAND'S MINISTRY OF LABOR

Poland’s Ministry of Labor and Social Policy would like to secure additional funds to enhance employment among the country’s youth, reports Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. Talks with the Ministry of Finance are scheduled to happen this week.

The Labor Ministry’s initial plan sees PLN 60 million spent on that goal in 2015.

MINIMUM WAGE

The Government has stated it is set to increase the minimum wage to PLN 1750 ($583) per month in the coming year. Speaking on Tuesday, PM Donald Tusk announced the figure is set to rise by PLN 70 from its current level of PLN 1680 – which has been the figure since January of this year, reports TVN.

The PM also made a point of highlighting the fact that this new increase would be a higher amount than the legal statutory requirement of PLN 1,731.

"For the first time in recent years we have been able to raise the wage more than we are obliged to by the statute and this shows that we are breaking the damage of the crisis and we are treating this as a good start," the PM told reporters. Mr. Tusk also stated the Government will be introducing new changes to help make life easier for self-employed people. "These changes will deal with issues such as VAT settlements and will be more in line with other European nations," he said.

POLISH START-UPS

The average Polish start-up owner is 27 years old and is working on the third business idea he or she had, according to a report issued by business accelerator Business Link on the 25th anniversary of the fall of communism in Poland.

Though 25 years ago the Polish economy was based on state-owned assets, now some 67 percent of the country’s GDP is generated by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, Business Link stressed. Young Poles are keen to establish their own companies, cherishing such values as independence and creativity, the report said.

The vast majority of Polish start- up owners (93 percent) are aware that university education does not prepare for being an entrepreneur; 68 percent say that the government does not support start-ups and 67 percent see high taxes as a barrier. Nevertheless, 89 percent believe that now is a good time to start one’s own business and 70 percent say that Poland is a good place to do so. The polled start-up owners are also ambitious. Some 67 percent want to be market leaders in the future and 52 percent want to promote Poland abroad.

DINNER DANCE

Make your reservations for our 12th Annual Dinner Dance on February 9th. We are waiting for you call!

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.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become."

-- Jung

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