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 first came across FSD while doing research for a paper in a developmental economics class. What really impressed me about FSD was their ground up approach and holistic outlook. I've continued to follow their progress and even considered going abroad with their program. While I eventually decided it was not the right time for me to leave my current job, as someone who did quite a bit research, I recommend their program above most of the others I looked into.
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.