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Review for Foundation for Sustainable Development, Oakland, CA, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

During my time as an intern at a women's center in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua and as a program coordinator in La Plata, Argentina I have been able to experience first-hand the incredible impact that FSD and its partners have on the lives of women. Unfortunately, in many marginalized communities throughout the world, women face difficult circumstances (abuse, poverty, unemployment, lack of access to health&education;, etc). In all of its sites, FSD collaborates with community organizations that seek to empower women, and provide them with the tools to challenge these circumstances. With its partners, FSD encourages sustainable change, that will improve the quality of life for these women and their families. One such partner IXCHEN Ciudad Sandino, is a center that provides women with psychological, medical, educational, and legal services. They seek to empower women to take care of themselves, and promote and enjoy the rights they are entitled. With an FSD grant, we were able to implement a project in which victims of domestic could learn how to make crafts through a series of workshops; providing with a skill that would encourage them to be economically independent, and reduce the likelihood of getting involved in abusive relationships. As an intern, I also participated in designing educational materials and implementing workshops that taught women about topics such as family planning, health, self-esteem, stress & constructive communication, etc. The excitement I saw in these women as they learned a new piece of information that would help them take care of themselves, and their pride in learning a new skill, is something that personally affected me, and made me realize the incredible impact that FSD and its partners have on communities. Also during my time in Nicaragua, I saw how other intern's projects allowed sex-workers to learn a vocational skill, and encouraged women to be leaders in their community and challenge the traditional male-oriented socity. As a Program Coordinator in Argentina, I was responsible for supporting interns, and their projects with their organizations. Here too, I saw many instances where FSD collaborations have created positive change in the lives of women. One example is a a sewing cooperative in which women learn skills and are able to work for a decent wage and in decent conditions to provide for their families themselves, and not solely depend on government welfare plans. Other examples include a baking cooperative with an environmentally friendly oven, in which a group of women have been able to increase their income ten-fold, and microcredit initiatives that provide women with the resources to start their own enterprises, etc.

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

my work and the work of fellow interns with partners in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua, and the work of interns and our site team with partners in La Plata, Argentina that serve women and families.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Former staff & Served as an intern with FSD in Ciudad Sandino for 3 months in 2008, and a Program Coordinator in La Plata, Argentina for 13 months. ,.