Cosma Casting Poland:


of Giving

The generous employees at Magna’s Cosma Casting Poland facility are making a difference far beyond the borders of their country.

Employees are involved in inspirational charitable initiatives including an educational sponsorship for a little girl in Kenya, a paintball tournament that raises funds for local children, and a motorcyclist who plays Santa to needy kids and single moms.

Here are their stories:

From Yellow Crocs to College Dreams

The barefoot children in Africa made a lasting impression on Krzysztof Prochniewicz, spurring him to make a difference.

Before his current job as production manager at Magna’s Cosma Casting Poland facility, Prochniewicz worked in the oil fields in Libya, and vacationed in Zanzibar and Kenya.

One of his first charitable initiatives was to start a Facebook campaign to collect shoes, toothbrushes and toothpaste for needy children in Kenya. During one trip, his family brought nine extra suitcases filled with donated items.

But they wanted to do more.

Next, Prochniewicz and his wife Danuta connected with Kenya Asante Sana Polska, a Polish foundation that arranges educational sponsorships for boys and girls in that African nation. They were randomly assigned to a 4 year old girl named Aziza from the tiny village of Mibibioni, and flew to Kenya to meet her in January 2020.

“When I met her, she jumped into my arms,” said Prochniewicz, the father of two sons, Kacper, 22, and Marcel, 16. “I felt like my daughter was born.”

Aziza received several gifts that day from her new Polish family, including clothes, a doll – and her first shoes, a pair of yellow Crocs.

Today, Prochniewicz proudly displays a picture of Aziza in his Magna office, and keeps in daily touch with her family via WhatsApp.

Some of his co-workers, inspired by his generosity, are helping to support the little girl in Kenya and her family, too. They have donated dresses, made monetary contributions to the Polish foundation, and one even pitched in to help Prochniewicz build a new solar-powered house for Aziza’s family.

Aziza’s baby sister, born a year ago, was named Danuta, in honor of Prochniewicz’s wife.

“I’ve made a long-term commitment to Aziza’s education from preschool to college,” said Prochniewicz. “I dream of her becoming an educated, independent woman who can choose her future.”

When I met her, she jumped into my arms, felt like my daughter was born.”

Salty Kisses for Santa

Most days, Jaroslaw Lewandowski wears shirts and jackets with the Magna logo in his job as a CNC process technician at Cosma Casting Poland.

But on December 6, the feast of St. Nicholas, he dresses up as Santa, hops on his BMW motorcycle, and joins 100 other motorcyclists in a parade through the city of Opole.

The ride is one of the main events of Moto Christmas, an annual ride-and-fund drive by local motorcyclists to support single moms and children from orphanages.

The riders pool the money they would have spent on fuel for their motorcycles during the winter months, when it is impossible to ride due to the weather, and buy gifts for the needy, hundreds of them. The group also buys coal to heat the institutions and orphanages. In some cultures, Santa leaves coal for naughty children, but here, it is a much-appreciated necessity.

Lewandowski has participated in Moto Christmas since 2015.

“We started doing this to improve the image of motorcycle riders and prove that they can do good things,” Lewandowski said.

He admits that wearing a Santa costume while riding a 160 horsepower motorcycle can be challenging.

“Very often, the outfit is destroyed,” Lewandowski noted. “Once my beard fell off before we visited the home for single mothers. But in a way, it was good. One of the women kissed me and I realized the kiss was salty. She was so grateful, she was crying. It made me realize I’m doing an important thing.”

Mixing Paintball and a Passion for Volunteering

His long list of volunteer activities includes collecting clothing for newborns and donating so much blood that he earned an honor from the government.

But Wlodek Andrzejczyk, the deputy CNC production supervisor at the Cosma Casting Poland facility, said the charitable effort closest to his heart is a paintball tournament that supports the needy. The money raised is used to supply medicine for sick children and sponsor their rehabilitation trips.

The yearly event started small in 2014, but has since grown into a huge program that attracts participants from Japan and Australia – as well as Andrzejczyk’s co-workers. He takes to the field during the event and doesn’t even mind getting hit with the dye-filled gelatin capsules used in the competitive shooting sport.

“It’s a challenge for them to hit me, and it’s for a good cause,” he said.

His passion for volunteering began when he was 19 and tutored children from poor families in Polish history and language. Andrzejczyk was part of a theater group at his school, and often used role- playing to engage his students. He also took the children on field trips, where they could “touch” history and understand the bigger picture.

He uses some of the same approaches today in his manufacturing job, which includes “training the trainers.” Showing employees where parts fit and function in a car, and helping them to envision the consumer who ultimately will use the car are built into his lesson plans.

“You need to be inspired to inspire others,” Andrzejczyk said. “You need to live the topic. Whether I’m at work or volunteering, the important thing is to believe in what you’re doing.”