The Founders

The Polish-American Freedom Foundation 

 The Polish-American Freedom Foundation is a partner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in an initiative intended to facilitate access to computers, the Internet and training opportunities for Poland’s public libraries. The program is conducted as part of Global Libraries, a broader project in which the Gates Foundation creates partnerships in selected countries for the purpose of providing citizens with free access to information and communication technologies via the public-library network. In Poland, the Library Development Program was launched in spring 2009 and will last several years. It is addressed to libraries and their branches in rural areas and towns of under 20,000 population. This undertaking is being implemented by the Information Society Development Foundation (FRSI), set up in 2008 by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. 
The Library Development Program due to be carried out over a five-year period is being financed primarily through a $28 million grant made available to the Polish-American Freedom Foundation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Those and other resources are being earmarked for the librarian training, the IT upgrade of libraries and bolstering the entire library system as well as information and promotional activities. The grant agreement between the Gates Foundation and the Polish-American Freedom Foundation was signed in April 2009.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest grant-making institution in the world. Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health with vaccines and other life-saving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

The foundation supports projects in three main program areas: Unites States, Global Health and Global Development. Within the latter area, the foundation has conducted the Global Libraries initiative for several years. It is based on establishing partnerships with selected developing countries in order to provide the citizens with free-of-charge public access to information and communication technologies (ICT) through the network of public libraries. Together with its partners, the Global Libraries initiative helps transform libraries into modern and attractive places, capable of addressing the needs of local communities by providing up-to-date hardware and training library staff on how to use, maintain, and introduce technology as well as building public support for modernization of libraries. The  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has already co-financed projects to transform public libraries within the Global Libraries in the following countries: Chile, Mexico, Botswana, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, and Vietnam.