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143 Reviews
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November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

I worked with FSD while doing my MA degree and to this day the memories and all that I learn is alive and well. It is home to some of the kindest, most professional and humane people in the field that I had the pleasure to meet. Its development notions are clear, smart, applicable and truly sustainable and you get a lot from your experience there. I was allowed to explore and learn as I wished, had contact with development champions abroad, new and smart types of fundraising, was taught database management with all the patience in the world (and then some), all coming together to a personal and professional experience I will never forget. I am sure you are one of the best Sustainable Development NGOs in the West Coast and you are a Top-Rated Nonprofit on my book!! Thank you and good luck with everything! Guilherme

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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?

Some

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?

2009

November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

This past summer I participated in FSD's intern abroad program in Bolivia. During my 10-week stay I worked at an organization that promotes women's empowerment and community development in rural areas of Cochabamba. The combination of living in Bolivia, my host family and organization and the FSD site team gave me a greater perspective on the work involved in development, something that is not comparable to learning from a book in a classroom. The fact that I have now tangible experience in this realm has not only provided me direction into my future career in International Development, but it has also made critical issues ever more real to me. The profound impact of this experience in my life has made me a more understanding and culturally sensitive person. This internship married my passion for sustainable development with social justice and gave me a tangible opportunity to see how an outside can promote development outside of the United States, something I am extremely grateful for.

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?

2012

November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

FSD was great because I felt really personally supported while on my internship. I worked at an Indian NGO for 10 weeks and it was a great experience. Even when my phone and wallet got stolen, the FSD staff helped me take out extra money and get a replacement phone. I felt like we had a really caring, personal connection that made my time abroad so much easier!

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

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?

2009

November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

The support and encouragement that FSD lends to its parter organizations results in real change. All of FSD's actions are focused on providing the most impact on local communities through proven process-driven actions. I have been especially impressed by how FSD works with local organizations, through its site teams and interns, to be creative in coming up with the best solution for their particular issue. I am honored to be part of the Board of FSD and look forward to my continued involvement!

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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?

2012

November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

FSD provided me with the opportunity to work with a local organization that matched my interests and would maximize my potential in Kakamega. I felt like I had so much freedom in my work, but also an incredible support structure at my back if I needed it.

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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?

2012

November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

The time I spent as an intern with FSD gave me a sense of the tremendous impact that a development organization can have on the lives of so many when it is committed to sustainability and when it has the drive of so many dedicated people. During my relatively-short nine weeks with FSD in Kakamega, Kenya, I was able to work with a local secondary school and work alongside the Site Team members and fellow interns. Throughout my experience, I truly appreciated (and was infected by) FSD's incredible passion for their work. I fully believe that FSD has made and will continue to make great strides in the development of their local communities.

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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?

Some

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

November 26, 2012

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November 26, 2012

FSD placed me as an intern with Village Enterprise, a SF-based microenterprise nonprofit which operates in western Kenya and Uganda. While my placement was only two months (and so my actual social impact was limited), the amount of exposure I got to the challenges, ethical dilemmas, and "soft skills" of development was very high. What's exceptional about FSD is not really the programming, but the quality of the site staff. Our site team, in particular, was incredibly high-energy and thoroughly integrated into the community.

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 little

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

August 17, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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August 17, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

For the amount of money I paid for an FSD internship in Uganda I was sure I would be plugged into a network of resources and professionals that would be working their absolute hardest to facilitate the work I was doing and to be sure my time in country was productive. While the staff certainly was incredibly pleasant, I felt as if I was repeatedly just placed in difficult situations and given no guidance as to what I was supposed to be doing. The orientation is a joke and whenever I would ask questions I almost never received a useful answer (usually it was something along the lines of "well, yes, that is a challenge.") Furthermore, there is a ridiculous amount of paperwork that must be completed in precisely the right way, otherwise it needs to be done. Also, FSD says it has a longstanding relationship with its partner organizations, but that relationship seems to exist in anything but a productive context. They don't give interns any substantial, useful background information that would allow interns to help local partners address their own internal, systemic issues that present the greatest obstacle to those organizations fulfilling their mission. I designed a project that I thought would really help my organization, only to find out 75% of the way through my internship that the organization had huge systemic issues that would prevent my project from continuing after I went back home. The systemic issues would have been relatively easy to address had I had the entirety of my internship to work on them, but as I found out so late I couldn't do anything. When I told the FSD staff about what I had observed, they told me that they already knew of those issues and that they were a huge obstacle to previous interns' projects. Had they given me any type of real orientation/introduction to my organization and mentioned a few over-arching issues previous interns had struggled with, my mind would have been in the right place to identify these issues right away and design a project that - even if it wouldn't address the issues directly - would be able to be sustained within the context of an organization suffering from those problems. FSD seems content with interns building gardens and piggeries even when the organizations given control of those resources lack the ability to utilize them properly after we leave.

The host families are wonderful, and the staff at the local organizations are fantastic, but the FSD bureaucracy really got in the way. FSD is great at allowing you the freedom to do whatever you want (even if you spend your entire internship drunk or travelling outside of your assigned area), but I question how much is actually accomplished by their work. FSD certainly talks the talk of a sustainable organization doing good in the developing world, but in reality, they have a lot of organizational issues to address before these internships are worth the money. There were other foreigners in my town, working for the same amount of time, doing similar work, who paid literally a fifth of the FSD program fee. And they got more useful support than we did.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

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

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 5, 2011

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1 previous review
April 28, 2009

High Quality Organization. I support FSD through the work of Projects of Hope (www.projectsofhope.org), an organization that assists rural Kenyans affected by AIDS/HIV, through anti-poverty initiative... more

June 5, 2011

FSD's amazing "Projects of Hope" (projectsofhope.org) provides direct assistance to women and children in rural Kenya. Funds go directly to provide health care for the women and children and schooling for the children. Additional projects include microfinance loans for employment and building basic housing shelters. A worthy and exceptional cause.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Tremendously rewarding.

Ways to make it better...

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

N/A

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Grass roots help that is achieving wonderful results in helping with basic life needs for widows affected by AIDS and their children.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Impactful organization with funds going directly to the important work of helping impoverished women and children in rural Kenya.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Funds go to the mission, all fundraising is by volunteers.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 28, 2009

High Quality Organization. I support FSD through the work of Projects of Hope (www.projectsofhope.org), an organization that assists rural Kenyans affected by AIDS/HIV, through anti-poverty initiatives, education, health care, housing and micro-finance. Very worthy organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Touching rural Kenyans lives; providing health care, education, a sense of dignity,self worth, and empowerment for women. Many of the people served have been stigmatized and out-cast, as a result of having been affected by AIDS/HIV.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Highly efficient use of funds. Dollars get to the people in need and make a tremendous difference in their lives. Confidence that funds make it to where they are intended.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 26, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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May 26, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

Is it just me or do these reviews seem to good to be true? I've read only one bad review, which seems to be honest, but the others seem generic. I say this because all of them don't give details, and for some reason, alway point to how great the staff was. I'm considering this program, but want to make sure I'm making the right investment. It is awfully expensive, considering how other non-profit organizations with oversees volunteer and internships placement are a lot cheaper. If anyone can give me an honest review, you can respond here or message me if you want my email. Thank you!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through their website, applying, going through Skype interview

Ways to make it better...

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

Make it cheaper. The prices are ridiculous and relatively expensive.

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