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.
FSD has been recognized as a model in books, case studies, and seminars for how to help students and volunteers work in an ethical way in developing countries. However, my expertise is not in international exchange and learning but rather in international development. As a development professional what I really appreciate about this organization is the way that it builds community members' self confidence and capabilities to change their own circumstances and make the community what they want it to be. In other words, it works deliberately to break down attitudes that someone from the outside needs to bring solutions and instead builds up the community to bring their own solutions. When the community is able to mobilize and build its own resources, even small contributions of time and money can have a big impact. Coming back to the international exchange angle, I think it is fantastic that students and would-be donors get to be a part of that process and gain appreciation of the capabilities of local people. It is my hope that those who have experienced the FSD model as students will use that perspective to come up with new approaches to supporting community development.
The work that FSD does in the field is truly impactful. The way they engage community organizations to work with volunteers gives a new meaning to the term volunteerism. The relationships are reciprocal and the work completed leads toward sustainable change.
The Foundation for Sustainable Development is a life-changing organization that allows participants to be involved in community-based projects while partnering with development organizations around the world. Prioritizing sustainability along with key development interventions allows for positive and truly reciprocal experiences on both sides. I would highly recommend this organization to my colleagues, friends, and family without any hesitation, and believe it is a gem among the Bay Area nonprofits.
I began working with the Foundation for Sustainable Development in May after learning about their unique approach to development. Having spent years working in the field of development it is refreshing to find an organization that stays true to its mission and really works with communities.
I have been able to travel to Nicaragua with FSD and I have seen the high impact programs in the field and I can honestly say that FSD is truly helping communities facilitate change from within. I would highly recommend FSD to any friends, family, or colleagues.
I had the opportunity to facilitate two Global Service Trips with the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua and Kakamega, Kenya.
FSD's commitment to achieving community-driven goals through asset-based development and international exchange in Africa, Asia, and Latin America was seen throughout my experience at these program sites. As a facilitator, I saw a huge transformation in the participants, members of the community partner organizations we worked with, and the beneficiaries. The reciprocal process FSD aims to achieve was accomplished on both trips.
The main differentiator of FSD's programs is that their sites teams are on the ground, ensuring the outcomes of the support have a long-lasting benefit for the partner organizations (NGOs and nonprofits).
I highly recommend FSD for anyone who wants to be the change they want to see in the world and seeks an opportunity to provide sustainable impact on international communities!
I am working with FSD since last five years. Being in development sector for over a 15 years now i think FSD is an real example of what you can say is working with grassroot community. FSD does not compramises with its original vision and mission while working with communities and have set up examples for other Non Profits here in western Rajasthan,
Having known both interns and other participants in FSD's programs, I am constantly impressed and inspired by the work of the organization. FSD is at the forefront of grassroots sustainable development. I am glad FSD does what it does and I hope to maintain a relationship with this ground-breaking yet grounded organization.
Incredible organization. They give great opportunities for college students to get started in the humanitarian and environmental field. They also accomplish many many practical projects to combat poverty and environmental degradation. They sponsored my budding humanitarian program until I was ready to go own on my own.I have been associated with them for 5 years.
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.