„Start where you are,

Use what you have,

Do what you can”

(Arthur Ashe)


It all started with books, love of reading and the desire to help those who do not have an

easy access to Polish literature.


Why Kazakhstan? The life of Poles living in Kazakhstan has always been close to me and often

talked about in my family home. In 2010 I put my signature on the repatriation bill, but it was not

enough. Our compatriots in Kazakhstan want to learn their mother tongue very much, and the need

is even greater because the Polish language is almost foreign to them. Hence the idea to meet this

need, by organizing a charity collection of Polish books.


More soon followed. Poles' response exceeded all expectations. We have managed to collect

huge amounts of books and literature in Polish, in a wide variety of themes, styles and genres. This

allowed for a widening of the original scope of the “Support a Compatriot” intitiative.

In 2017, as a follow-up, the “Foundation for the Compatriot” was established. The original

collection of books was intended to be a response to the needs of Poles living in Kazakhstan. Thanks

to its success, the scope of the Foundation activities has gained much wider reach. The offer of

spreading literature in the mother tongue is addressed to Poles living both in Kazakhstan and in the

Kresy (Eastern Borderlands) as well as in Poland itself. Wherever the need arises, the Foundation

offers help and support.


The main goal of the Foundation is to organize support and prepare the conditions for the

return of Poles from Kazakhstan to their homeland. The means to this goal is spreading knowledge

of the Polish language, popularization of the native literature and the work of Poles to help

compatriots living outside the country.


I would like to invite private individuals as well as institutions interested in the fate of Poles

to cooperate with us. I encourage you to actively participate in our campaigns. We are open to new

initiatives, ideas, and any help you would like to provide.



Joanna Wilk-Yaridiz

(Founder of the “Foundation for the Compatriot”)