The Information Society Development Foundation (FRSI), a non-governmental organization established in 2008 by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF), conducts activities to increase access of citizens, institutions and organizations to ICT and strives to popularize the knowledge of the benefits of using new technologies in citizens’ life. We help inhabitants of small localities to use ICT. As a result, they have access to practical knowledge. They learn how to solve specific problems of their communities and pursue their aspirations. They creatively seek new ideas and together put them into practice.
The main projects implemented by FRSI are:
- Library Development Program – a result of the partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PAFF. Under this venture, more than 3,800 libraries from more than 1,200 communes are provided with hardware, software, training and other forms of support to build their capacity and broaden their functions beyond the traditional ones, and transform them into modern, multi-functional information, cultural and education centres that stimulate civic involvement.
- Link to the Future. Youth. Internet. Career – the goal is to support youth in planning their professional future in a wide and creative way, regarding information society development and knowledge-based economy. The essence of the project are meetings (which take place primarily in libraries) with young inspiring ICT professionals.
- Get Online Week – every year, as part of the campaign, FRSI and its partners prepare various programs of meetings to present interesting and practical possibilities of using different ICT resources. The Polish editions of the campaign, which are coordinated by FRSI, have involved more than 1,300 institutions and nearly 48,000 people.
- ICT for Local Development – under this venture funded by PAFF, FRSI develops the network of Tech Clubs based on the formula of American NTEN 501 Tech Clubs. They are informal, local groups that meet regularly in 16 Polish cities. Those meetings allow people from various milieus interested in technology to meet local peers, share experiences in putting the potential of ICT to practical use and discuss the ICT-related trends in non-formal settings. The Tech Clubs’ operations, the meetings involved more than 4,100 people. Also, as part of this venture, FRSI coordinates work of 40 Mobile ICT Advisors who provide technological support services to local NGOs.