The Freedom Institute statement about cooperation with the GetBack company
1. In connection with the false information appearing in the media about cooperation with the GetBack company, the Freedom Institute Foundation (hereinafter: the Institute) informs that:
• The cooperation between GetBack and the Institute concerned one educational project that was carried out in 2015–2017 in almost two-thousand primary and secondary schools across Poland.
• In spring 2018, the Institute received proposals from GetBack for cooperation on other projects, but it did not take part in these proposals.
• During the activities of the Institute, there were no contacts between representatives of GetBack and politicians.
2. In early 2015, GetBack declared its willingness to conduct educational activities aimed at educating young people in the field of financial education and entrepreneurship, which was in line with the Institute’s objectives. The GetBack company became a partner of the “Enterprising in school and in life” project. GetBack was a campaign partner for two years in the period from April 4–September 1, 2015, and from May 18, 2016–May 30, 2017. The campaign finished at the end of the 2016–2017 school year. GetBack withdrew from further support of the campaign. Thus, the project came to an end.
GetBack returned with a proposal to continue cooperation on this project in spring 2018, but this cooperation did not take place.
The project was carried out together with a group of Warsaw primary and secondary schools and educational organizations. As part of the project, the team of experts together with a group of teachers developed a manual for teachers and school directors — a list of activities that teachers could conduct. Experts analyzed the best practices from schools around the world. The first version of the textbook was publicly presented during a conference in one of Warsaw’s schools. In the first year of the project, the internships described in the textbook were piloted in thirty public and private schools. As a result of the pilot program — after collecting opinions on the proposed activities, the textbook was modified and published in printed and electronic form. Educational activities were also conducted on social media, where educational tasks addressed directly to students appeared. In the 2016–2017 school year, the Institute, along with cooperating educational organizations, reached almost two-thousand Polish schools as part of the project. That many schools declared participation in the project and its implementation.
The last stage of the project was a competition to prepare a project plan that would meet the needs of the student community. A webpage was also created with a digital version of the guide for teachers. The action ended with a public discussion on how to shape entrepreneurial attitudes among students and the awarding of prizes. The discussion was attended by teachers, experts, a spokesman of the Ministry of Finance and a representative of GetBack.
3. GetBack has not sponsored any other activities of the Institute, including our Leadership School, as suggested in the media. The proposal was made in the spring of 2018, but the agreement was not implemented — the Institute withdrew from cooperation on its own initiative. The Institute did not receive any funds for this purpose from GetBack.
4. The GetBack company did not participate in any way in the SAS of the Polish Economy project, which was also suggested in the media.
5. In April 2018, the Institute received a proposal from GetBack for long-term sponsorship of the Institute’s international activities in two countries — Israel and the USA. After analyzing the situation surrounding the company, the Institute decided not to cooperate in this area and refused to sign a contract in this matter.
6. In deciding to cooperate with GetBack in 2015–2017, the Institute relied on very good public opinion about the company. The company was evaluated by the best international auditing and rating companies, was supervised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, entered the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and many major banks and financial institutions cooperated with it.
The Freedom Institute did not have any grounds to doubt the credibility of GetBack and when doubts about the company began to emerge in the spring of 2018 — the Institute did not accept any proposals for further cooperation.