History of Solidarity Fund PL

The Foundation was established at the end of the 1990s on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Poland. Its purpose was to assist countries in the period of transformation towards market economy and private enterprise, and to support their economic, social and political development. During the first years of its operation, the Foundation implemented a number of projects, e.g. for Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Georgia. It prepared and published numerous works on the Polish transformation experience.

1997

  • Formation of the Polish Market Transformation Foundation “Knowing How” on the initiative of the President of Republic of Poland

2002

  • Change of the Foundation’s name to Polska Fundacja Międzynarodowej Współpracy na rzecz Rozwoju „Wiedzieć Jak” [Polish Foundation for International Cooperation for Development “Knowing How”]

2005-2011

  • Suspension of the Foundation’s activity

2011

  • Decision of Radosław Sikorski to restore the Foundation’s activity and to appoint its Board composed of: Krzysztof Stanowski, Marek Borowski, Andrzej Grzyb, Paweł Kowal, Jerzy Koźmiński, Henryka Krzywonos-Strycharska, Marek Magierowski, Jacek Protasiewicz, Jerzy Rejt, Rev. Kazimierz Sowa, Marcin Wojciechowski, Henryk Wujec
  • In the Act on cooperation for development of 16 August 2011, the Polish Parliament (Sejm) provided for the possibility of the Foundation being commissioned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to hold competitions and perform tasks in the area of cooperation for development (taking into account the specific political conditions in the target country, in which the given task is to be performed).
  • Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz was appointed Chair of the Foundation’s Board, while Krzysztof Stanowski, Marcin Wojciechowski and Katarzyna Zakroczymska were appointed Board Members.

2012

  • Restoration of the Foundation’s activity, execution of an agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foundation
  • Takeover by the Foundation of the logotype for the Polish Presidency of the EU Council; the logo was designed by Jerzy Janiszewski, the author of the Solidarność union logo
  • Commencement of the Foundation’s direct activities in Tunisia (Project: Poland-Tunisia – Support for Civil Society Development)
  • Organization, within European Dialog for Modernization of Belarus, of an international conference devoted to privatization reforms in Belarus
  • There are 71 projects subsidized from the Support to Democracy grant, which are implemented by Polish non-governmental organizations in Belarus, the Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tunisia and Myanmar/Burma.
  • The Foundation contributes to the first Polish NGO projects in Myanmar/Burma
  • Organization of missions to monitor parliamentary elections in Ukraine and Georgia within the OSCE/ODiHR mission and an international civil observation mission to Ukraine under the patronage of Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Markus Meckel
  • Launch of the Local Authorities Information Centre in Moldova, organization of an international conference The local democracy experience in the process of transformation, attended by the President of Republic of Moldova Nicolae Timofti and President of Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski
  • Appointment of Michał Wojtczak, Andrzej Halicki and Adam Lipiński to the Foundation’s Board, resignation of Paweł Kowal

2013

  • Change of the Foundation’s name to Fundacja Solidarności Międzynarodowej [International Solidarity Fund]
  • Within the 7th Conference of the Ministerial Community of Democracies, the Foundation organized a meeting on the current situation in Belarus and actions taken by governments and social organizations in support of democratic transformations in that country.
  • During his official visit to Poland, the President of Mongolia decorated the President of the Foundation Krzysztof Stanowski with the Order of “Polar Star” (Altan Gadas)
  • A meeting of Polish non-governmental organizations operating in Myanmar/Burma with Aung San Su Kyi
  • Amendment of the Act on cooperation for development changing the definition of cooperation for development, so that assistance could be offered not only to the developing countries but also to their societies; introduction of the Foundation’s new name into the Act.
  • Organization of missions to monitor parliamentary elections in Georgia within the OSCE/ODiHR mission
  • A series of seminars Justice in the Period of Transformation for the representatives of Tunisian public administration, non-governmental organizations and the media
  • Marcin Wojciechowski resigns as a member of the Foundation’s Management Board, having been appointed Press Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2014

  • Organization of observation missions (ODIHR / OSCE missions) early presidential elections in Ukraine (25 May), early parliamentary elections in Ukraine (October 26), and the parliamentary elections in Moldova (30 November).
  • Under the Support for Democracy Program in 2014 was supported the implementation of a total of 49 projects Polish non-governmental organizations, operating in cooperation with local partners in joint initiatives to support pro-democratic changes in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Tunisia.
  • As part of the Foundation emerged the Poland-Canada Democracy Support Program, funded by the governments of Canada and Poland. The aim of the Program is to support pro-democratic changes in Ukraine. As part of last year’s grant competition 18 projects were selected, which will be implemented in 2015-2016.

2015

  • The program Support for Democracy and the Poland-Canada Democracy Support Program, supported the implementation of a total of 58 projects in Polish non-governmental organizations, undertaking in cooperation with local partners joint initiatives to support pro-democratic transformations in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burma, Georgia, Moldova , Ukraine, Tajikistan and Tunisia.
  • The Information Centre for Local Authorities in Moldova supported 12 local projects implemented directly by the Moldovan local government units in cooperation with social partners. The Information Centre for Local Authorities in Moldova is a joint project funded by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and USAID.
  • Since September 2015 FSM carries out a project in Ukraine, co-financed with USAID: ‘An objective picture of the processes related to the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in Ukrainian media.’
  • Organization of observation missions (part of ODIHR/OSCE missions): early presidential election in Kazakhstan – April 26, parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan – October 4, presidential elections in Belarus – October 11, Ukrainian local elections – October 25 and November 15, 2015. A total of 14 long-term observers and 76 short-term ones took part in the missions.
  • In February 2015 the Foundation began operating an office in Kyiv, which supports development activities in Ukraine implemented through the Foundation. In 2015, advisory activities on the preparation of project proposals for legislations on local government reform in Ukraine were carried out by a team of experts appointed on the basis of the Memorandum on cooperation in support of local government reform in Ukraine. Some of the activities were financed by the Swiss program DESPRO.
  • On the 28th of October 2015, the Foundation received the Blessed Emilian Kowcz Award. According to the decision of the Chapter House, Solidarity Found PL was recognized for its commitment to civil society development and dialogue between cultures and nations in Central and Eastern Europe, Polish-Ukrainian cooperation on different levels and for its charitable activities for the benefit of victims in Ukraine.
  • In 2015,  trainings for short-term election observers were inogurated. They are the first professional training for election observers in Poland and second in Central and Eastern Europe (also present in Slovenia). In 2015 two editions were held.