Through FSD I was able to experience the technological challenges that villagers in Uganda face. FSD did 2 things very well. Firstly, they assigned me to a community that was excited about technology and found me a wonderful host family. Living among the community and working with them to provide useful sustainable businesses could not have happened with my organization alone. Secondly they advised me on how to best approach sustainable development. The keys rules are to ensure that any initiative you and the community spend time building, is one where all the correct incentives line up such that the initiative continues well past your time. This was important advice to ensuring that your time is not wasted on projects that fail. Instead, most FSD projects lead to some tangible benefit for the community because the community is the main driver. The interns learn a great deal and help where they can by offering their knowledge and experience in a very different part of the world. This is a passive but highly effective method of development.
Although I don't know a ton about sustainable development, I have come to know more about the movement through family members' involvement in the industry. Although green is good at this point for the general populous, the majority of us have no clue how to really make a difference and positively impact the lives of the less fortunate worldwide. The main reason I really like FSD is that they take all their initiatives right to the communities they work in and look directly the the community members they are trying to support to get proactive themselves and work with FSD on an on-going basis to have a direct impact on changing their daily lives for the better. I also like that FSD uses a multifaceted approach to sustainable development, and by blending microfinance, health, environment, education, and human rights initiatives and education they are able to offer comprehensive change that can profoundly improve our world.
I love this organization. I've admired the work they do for a few years, and am incredibly impressed with them.
I love the philosophy of this organization and they do great work. I have some friends who have volunteered with them and there's nothing but glowing reviews.
By partnering with locals in the areas they service to find out what the high priority needs are FSD affects environmental practices in the most sustainable way - the way people will actually use. Other methods and groups mught be more sustainable per project by partnering and knowing what works on the ground and in the field means FSD projects have a better chance of uptake by local populations. Something can be 100% green and 100% sustainable in theory but 0% in practice if no one adopts it or uses it. FSD should be winning this award for using methods that work in the field.
As an intern at FSD's San Francisco office, I have been privileged to see a broad range of what it is that FSD does. As of late I was going through different projects that previous interns have contributed to a wide variety of partner community-based organizations. It was so inspiring to to see all the ways in which each part was making a difference no matter how big or small; and each one of those tied into the bigger picture of creating a sustainable development model.