FSD envisions a world where all people have the opportunity and capacity to direct economic, social, and environmental resources toward sustainable outcomes that improve lives and communities.
Over 8 million dollars invested in communities in 9 countries to advance local causes
500+ ORGS TRAINED
FSD has trained over 500 organizations and funded more than 2,000 projects aimed at improving the quality of life in communities around the world.
495 GRANTS AWARDED
FSD has awarded 495 competitive grants for projects proposed by community organizations that show strong potential for replication, sustainability, and effective impact in the community
Over 3,500 volunteers and interns from 50 countries have been trained by FSD’s experienced field staff and connected to grassroots organizations around the world.
FSD achieves community-driven goals through asset-based development and international exchange in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
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 on how to participate appropriately and effectively in development, and on how to become redundant so that our initiatives outlast our involvement.
We strengthen the skills, competencies, and abilities of the leaders at 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.
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.
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.
An African American Peace Corps volunteer who recently returned from her service in Swaziland told me that she had to laugh at the fact that "I went all the way to Africa to …
Country Director Maria de Jesus Zepeda knows better than anyone the impact our work can have both as a citizen and a development professional.
A licensed psychologist and social worker who also holds a master’s …
Gaia Pacha and FSD have been partners in change since 2007. A longstanding group of young professionals dedicated to awareness of and education in environmental issues in Bolivia, Gaia Pacha is committed to the philosophy …
With an ongoing interest in women’s rights, Emory University student Monica Lefton found Udaipur, India a good fit for her internship site. “I had never been to Asia but was familiar with the plight of …
It’s no coincidence that International Women’s Day on March 7th immediately precedes World Health Day on April 7th. It is impossible to achieve the UN’s 3rd Sustainable Development Goal-- to “ensure healthy lives and promote …