Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Government to control Christmas Charity?

Creator of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (WOSP), Poland’s largest, annual charity fund raiser, is outraged at government plans to try and control how the charity spends its donations.

On Monday, a day after the charity’s Great Finale event, when the charity raised the equivalent of eight million euro, Minister of Interior Grzegorz Schetyna declared that the government will make sure that all the money collected by WOSP will be spent “in the way donors intended.”

“The Ministry of Interior will monitor the transferring of money collected during the Great Finale to hospitals and clinics,” announced Schetyna.

The minister stressed that the people who supported WOSP should have a guarantee that their donations will be used in accordance with the law.

Schetyna added that so far he hadn’t received any signals of irregularities during the collection of money, however. “So far everything was all right,” he stressed.

Jerzy Owsiak, the founder of the charity, which first formed in 1993, is outraged that the government should interfere in what is an independent NGO.

“Research shows that the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is the best brand among this kind of organisation around the world. That is why I am very surprised with Schetyna’s declarations. We are very transparent and the collected money is carefully divided,” said Owsiak.

This year during the 17 Great Finale the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity collected over 32.6 million zlotys, though more is expected to be collected in celebrity auctions and other evenmts..