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.
I volunteered at their Cochabamba, Bolivia location for the summer. Obviously, there are certain challenges that just come with working/interning abroad, but the FSD cite team was especially supportive, while still gave me room to figure things out myself. Also, after talking with other volunteers/interns that were through different programs, I really think FSD's plan makes the whole experience more meaningful. Great people, great hearts. I recommend
I volunteered/interned in Kakamega, Kenya during the summer of 2014. I had a wonderful experience, especially the way FSD organized everything related to my 2 months of stay in Kakamega. I was satisfied with the way they selected host family and host organization for many interns like me.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.