FSD achieves community-driven goals through asset-based development and international exchange in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

CORE VALUES

START WITH ASSETS, NOT PROBLEMS

We take an asset-based approach to development work. We begin by listening to the priorities set by our community-based partners at our international program sites. We then identify and utilize existing assets and capacity to address those priorities.

MOTIVATE COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP

We partner with leaders, organizations, and stakeholders committed to change, action, and social justice. We stress community ownership and participation before launching initiatives, especially in our volunteer and student programs.

GENERATE ENDURING RESULTS AND IMPACT

We ensure the outcomes of our support have long-lasting benefits for our partners. We think hard about how to participate appropriately and effectively in development, and on how to become redundant so that our initiatives outlast our involvement.

BUILD CAPACITY

We strengthen the skills, competencies, and abilities of the leaders of our community-based partners and of our student and professional volunteers. We educate and train, facilitating the sharing of best practices across all of our stakeholders to support our partners’ priorities.

BE A BRIDGE

We relentlessly build a network of students, professionals, and passionate advocates for our community-based partners to access. We connect this network of assets and volunteers with the work of our partners through our international exchange and grantmaking programs.

CHANGE PERSPECTIVES

We share our experiences and learnings about the complexities of development with friends, family, and colleagues. We promote cultural exchange and sensitivity, encouraging a reflective approach to navigating cross-cultural issues, confusions, and tensions.

PROMOTE RECIPROCITY

We operate on our founding principle that producing strong community outcomes must be the priority. We base all partnerships, strategies, and decisions on the Fair Trade Learning concept that we must be ethical and reciprocal in our planning, implementation, and outcomes.

MAKING CONNECTIONS FOR GREATER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE IMPACT

The power to end poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity is in people. Every person can make a difference. Every person is powerful and has something to contribute. When people work together they are even more powerful. We are committed to uniting people for the common good. Our approach focuses on mobilizing resources—human, economic, and natural—for sustainable, life-changing initiatives. We use an asset-based community development approach that encourages self-reliance and inspires an appreciation of existing resources in the community and the confidence to build upon them. We constantly challenge ourselves and others to do more with what we have. We believe that with an attitude of resourcefulness, positive change is possible even in low-resource settings. We facilitate change by bringing together voices of the community, the ongoing efforts of local groups and organizations, and the local resources identified in the community, connecting them with international students, professionals, and donors who want to make a difference. Because better results come from working together, we strive to combine diverse experiences, talents, and perspectives to make stronger outcomes. Because we believe that respecting diverse perspectives is critical for constructive dialogue and meaningful progress, we deliberately seek out those perspectives and engage the community in dialogue around important issues. In this way, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We put our heads together with the community at the lead to address issues and bring solutions into reality in a sustainable and locally-appropriate way.

HOW WE WORK — OUR MODEL

We begin by listening to our community. Our community consists of local NGOs and community members in 6 countries, universities, students, alumni, staff, donors, and socially responsible companies. We listen to what each is seeking to accomplish and what they have to give. We identify community priorities and from there build programs. At each program site, we work with a wide range of grassroots community development organizations addressing issues important to their community such as access to clean water, sustainable agriculture, income generation, education, gender equity, and health care. We have local staff on the ground who are members of that community and who stay in touch with what’s happening. The agenda is set by those local community development organizations. They put forward their ideas and initiatives to improve the quality of life in their community. FSD then works to mobilize human resources, funds, skills, and knowledge to support those locally-led initiatives. FSD works with universities, companies, civic groups and individuals interested in engaging in collaborative, on-the-ground development work alongside local grassroots leaders. FSD provides training and orientation to those students and volunteers as well as facilitating on-going learning and reflection. In each placement, FSD blends the interests and talents of these people with local knowledge and expertise to develop and implement sustainable development projects in the community. To complement this flow of human resources and the accompanying knowledge exchange, FSD offers two kinds of grant programs. First, a competitive grant fund administered by FSD itself. Second, we facilitate the formation of giving circles to act as mini-foundations making grants to community development organizations in our program sites.

Programmes taught in:
  • English

This school also offers:

Courses

FSD - Foundation for Sustainable Development

FSD Research Internships allow participants to engage with FSD community partners in researching local issues and developing potential solutions. With community-based par ... [+]

FSD Research Internships allow participants to engage with FSD community partners in researching local issues and developing potential solutions. With community-based participatory research, the research question is defined and findings are analyzed together with the community. The goal is knowledge creation which serves to inform community action. Research Internships have a strong emphasis on community-based participatory research in order to ensure the researchers work side by side with community members.

What is Community-Based Participatory Research?

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a framework or approach for conducting research that is characterized by the relationships between the communities and researchers. This type of research is collaborative and requires partnership development, cooperation, negotiation, flexibility, and commitment to addressing local issues. CBPR works to accomplish objectives and development through empowerment and ownership.... [-]

Bolivia Cochabamba Uganda Kampala Kenya Nairobi Argentina Buenos Aires India Udaipur Nicaragua Managua  + 8 More
September 2020
English
Full time
9 - 52 weeks
Campus
Read more in English
FSD - Foundation for Sustainable Development

FSD Gap Year program is an intense, immersive program for pre-college students (17+) looking to gain international development training and experience. It’s an exciting w ... [+]

FSD Gap Year program is an intense, immersive program for pre-college students (17+) looking to gain international development training and experience. It’s an exciting way to explore and learn before starting college.

Our Gap Year program was specifically designed for high school graduates and allows you to gain hands-on experience prior to beginning your studies at a university level. The Gap Year program has a strong emphasis on community ownership and follows the principles of Asset-Based Community Development. Participants receive extensive training in sustainable development principles and gain professional skills in project planning and budgeting, program evaluation, community assessment, and proposal writing. Participants apply their new and existing skill sets as they collaborate with their local colleagues on identifying, designing, and implementing a project to benefit the community.... [-]

Bolivia Cochabamba Uganda Kampala Kenya Nairobi Argentina Buenos Aires India Udaipur Nicaragua Managua  + 8 More
September 2020
English
Full time
9 - 56 weeks
Campus
Read more in English
FSD - Foundation for Sustainable Development

FSD International Development Internships are an opportunity for students and young professionals to gain hands-on experience in sustainable development and insight into ... [+]

FSD International Development Internships are an opportunity for students and young professionals to gain hands-on experience in sustainable development and insight into other cultures that can only be obtained through participating in the work on the ground. The internships are thoughtfully designed to help you build your career while having a lasting impact on the people in the community in which you serve. Our Development Internships have a strong emphasis on community ownership and follow the principles of Asset-Based Community Development. Interns receive extensive training in sustainable development principles and gain professional skills in project planning and budgeting, program evaluation, community assessment, and proposal writing. Interns apply their new and existing skill sets as they collaborate with their local colleagues on identifying, designing, and implementing a project to benefit the community.... [-]

Bolivia Cochabamba Uganda Kampala Kenya Nairobi Argentina Buenos Aires India Udaipur Nicaragua Managua  + 8 More
September 2020
English
Full time
Campus
Read more in English
FSD - Foundation for Sustainable Development

With the Language Immersion program, interns can increase their language skills before and during their international development fieldwork. ... [+]

In conjunction with the FSD International Development Internship Program, FSD also offers a Language Immersion Program at our site in Cochabamba, Bolivia. FSD International Development Internships are a chance for students and young adults to gain experience in sustainable development and insight into other cultures that can only be obtained through direct experience, and language is a key component to successful project implementation. With the Language Immersion program, interns can increase their language skills before and during their international development field work.

This program has been customized with two options, Level 1: Beginner, and Level 2: Intermediate. Through this Language Immersion Program, interns receive individual language instruction, similar program components of FSD’s Intern Abroad program (host family, site team support, orientation, etc.), and flexible course options.... [-]

Bolivia Cochabamba
September 2020
English
Full time
9 - 52 weeks
Campus
Read more in English