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132 Reviews
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August 6, 2014

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August 6, 2014

I interned in the San Francisco Office for the summer and had an amazing experience. As an intern, the experience was very positive -- full of educational guidance and hands-on experience. As an organization, FSD stays true to its mission and does everything it can to educate its participants about how to effectively and respectfully assist international communities in their development and growth. So many international aid organizations sound really good but actually end up harming the communities they work with. FSD on the other hand works against this and ensures that their involvement in community development stems from the desires and skills of the community itself. That way, when the FSD volunteers leave to return home, the community has not only improved, but their dignity and understanding that they can continue to develop themselves is intact.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

October 17, 2013

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October 17, 2013

I have heard a lot of good things about FSD, especially in working with international development organizations in the past decade. Their model of volunteer-based development work is more respectful of local wisdom than most other programs and promotes actually sustainable progress.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There should be an interchange where people from the Global South can come and help Americans with our myriad problems. There is a lot we can learn from the grassroots-level of marginalized communities which are learning to overcome entrenched, complex challenges.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 26, 2013

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1 previous review
November 27, 2012

I worked with a microfinance institution in Kakamega, Kenya through FSD for several months back in 2009. It was a tremendously rewarding experiences, both personally and professionally. FSD takes it... more

September 26, 2013

My latest experience with the Foundation for Sustainable Development has been in co-leading a 7 person Giving Circle in Chicago. Our group raised over $4,000 and funded 4 separate sustainable, grassroots projects in Uganda, Kenya, and India. The topics we funded involved organic farming education and methods, a beekeeping enterprise, an enterprise creating food warmers for meals, and an educational skit for domestic violence awareness.

FSD and the Giving Circle specifically gives me an opportunity to stay connected with the international development community even while I am stateside and not in the field. It also gives me an avenue to connect others around me in my community to international development work, in a highly active engagement role beyond simply cutting a check. It allows me to come together with friends and colleagues to really debate the effect of our grants on organizations and communities, and while it is not the only tool for development work, we think deeply through how we can make it an effective one with the help of FSD.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 27, 2012

I worked with a microfinance institution in Kakamega, Kenya through FSD for several months back in 2009. It was a tremendously rewarding experiences, both personally and professionally. FSD takes its commitment to grassroots international development very seriously, and makes an effort to train its volunteers on actual frameworks and tools for development work (e.g., Northwestern's ABCD framework). They have dedicated site teams run by true locals of their respective communities, which helps create buy-in and effect real change. Their partnership model ensures that FSD's volunteers are getting plugged into and are supporting existing, sustainable organizations, as opposed to adding to the proliferation of nonprofits in a given region. FSD's post-trip support and network for its alumni is very strong, too, offering numerous opportunities to stay connected to international development work even after returning from the field.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 19, 2013

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September 19, 2013

I started out as an FSD intern in Mombasa, Kenya and could not have had a better experience. I chose FSD after many months of research on just about every international volunteer organization. FSD stood out to me because of its focus on long-term sustainable support to local community organizations, as well as its training in project design, grant-writing, and other community development tools. I felt it would give me the most bang for my buck. After my internship, I always wanted to go back to Kenya and later I finally returned as an FSD Program Coordinator in Kakamega. After working as Coordinator, I couldn't get enough of FSD and pursued a staff position in their headquarters to continue to support FSD's network of community partners, international interns, and an amazing group of field staff.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 19, 2013

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September 19, 2013

I worked with FSD last summer in San Francisco. As a member of the behind-the-scenes aspect I will just say that FSD is a incredibly compassionate non-profit who cares about creating a sustainable and respectful relationship with communities on the ground. I loved working with everyone in the office. The integration of the student volunteers over seas is a key aspect to FSD's model, and one that is both educational and effective. I would love to go abroad as an FSD volunteer. Thanks for all that you do FSD!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 16, 2013

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September 16, 2013

I served in Kakamega, Kenya for 6 months (September 2011-March 2012) with FSD. I chose FSD because the organization emphasized grassroots development and it had host organizations that focused on human rights including advocacy for persons with disabilities; which is what I'm passionate about. I had the opportunity to work with Empowerment of Disabled Development Organization (EDDO) and be involved with the locals in advocating for human rights. My invaluable experience with FSD and my host organization, EDDO truly inspired me to go to graduate school for International Development. The inspiration came from the seeing the change happening within the community I served; genuine change that would continue to grow over time. The idea of being a part of changing a community using resources available and self -sustainability was amazing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the opportunities for alumnus to connect with active volunteers

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 7, 2013

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September 7, 2013

For six weeks in February and March 2012 my husband and I volunteered with FSD in India. After our brief orientation in Jodhpur we went to the village of Chandelao, where I worked as a teacher of English in the private school, while he worked on building a website for the village fort/heritage hotel and the women's craft center. We were warmly welcomed, and our stay was really fun and rewarding. The FSD staff were supportive and helpful throughout. We feel lucky to have made good friends among the warm and colorful people of Rajasthan.
We are now about to embark on a new adventure with FSD to Salta, Argentina. We are grateful to FSD for their help with planning and preparing for our trips, finding us good accommodation and meaningful assignments, and ensuring that our experiences as retired volunteers live up to expectations.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

recommend that other active retirees be recruited as volunteers, as they can make meaningful contributions to such a worthwhile organization.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 7, 2013

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September 7, 2013

In January 2012, my wife and I spent 6 weeks with the FSD Procorps in Jodhpur India. We are retired professionals and FSD encouraged us to volunteer our time and experience. We could not be happier with our experience. We worked with a small NGO in a village of 1800 residents about 25 miles from the city of Jodhpur. Our experience was personally fulfilling and we participated in worthwhile projects that will have lasting benefit to the community. The local FSD staff were professional and helpful.

We are so satisfied with our FSD experience that we are volunteering with them again: this time for 6 weeks in Salta, Argentina.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage more retired professionals to volunteer their services.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

August 21, 2013

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August 21, 2013

During the summer of 2011, I had the wonderful opportunity in traveling to Tola, Nicaragua. Juma Ventures, a non-profit organization for high school and college students that I have been a part of since 2007, partners with the FSD. This partnership allowed students, such as myself to be a part of something much larger then I, as well as many of my friends in the program could have ever dreamed. My experience in Tola showed me the beauty in simplicity and in living.

Now, in 2013, I was given the liberty to work with the FSD at a whole new capacity. I was taken on as the Programs Department Intern in San Francisco. My time here has shown me that I am making a difference, directly and indirectly. My time spent in Nicaragua is proof of that fact.

Here is where I am contributing to something much larger then I could have ever dreamed.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 31, 2013

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July 31, 2013

I worked with FSD last summer for ten weeks in Bolivia in the field of economic development. Overall, my experience was great and I would recommend the organization to other people. Before I left, the San Francisco based staff was amazing in communicating with me about my concerns going abroad. Once I arrived, the local staff was responsive, encouraging, and helped me a lot when I got sick.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would find a way to make international work with FSD more accessible for low-income students. As it stands with the very high fees (which I agree goes toward maintaining the quality of the organization, hiring great local staff, and creating meaningful partnerships), low-income student or students without huge endowments or scholarships from their schools are unable to participate. If FSD wants to be truly inclusive and sustainable, it should strive to be accessible to all qualified students.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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