The Foundation for Sustainable Development was founded in 1995 to support the efforts of local development organizations working to improve the welfare of the people living in their communities. FSD provides these grassroots organizations with human resources, financial resources, and technical assistance. Our primary goal is to increase their capacity to serve their communities. In striving to achieve this goal, other benefits emerge: we raise awareness of the challenges faced by those in the developing world, we train the development leaders of tomorrow, and we facilitate increased cross-cultural understanding.
FSD started international operations in 1996 in Nicaragua with one summer internship program and $1000 in grants. As of 2006, FSD operates in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Uganda, Kenya, and India. In 2005, FSD sent more than 200 program participants to eight countries, granted nearly $60,000 to more than 100 local organizations in these countries, and began our GradCorps and ProCorps programs.
FSD offers various international opportunities for students and professionals from around the world. Our largest program is our internship program in which interns volunteer with local nonprofit organizations in diverse areas of development. Our summer and year-round internship programs last eight weeks to a year. FSD also offers short-term service learning trips, volunteer programs, and study tours. To complement these volunteer and study experiences, all programs include homestays with local families that provide cultural and language immersion.
FSD has four grant programs. FSD provides minigrants of $200 to all partner organizations when hosting interns. FSD holds grant competition each year during the summer and long term internship programs. These grant competitions fund projects to be carried out by interns and their host organizations. Thus, in addition to gaining skills in grant writing, interns gain experience in the design and implementation of small development projects.
FSD also assists our partner organizations by providing funding leads, editing grant proposals, and providing assistance whenever necessary. FSD also acts as a fiscal sponsor for projects operating in developing countries when they complement our mission.
FSD facilitates capacity building of our partner organizations in a number of ways. First, the interns and volunteers themselves provide valuable services and perspective that might otherwise be lacking for many of these organizations. Second, grant funds promote short- and long-term projects carried out by our interns and partner organizations. Finally, FSD provides technical assistant through workshops on various topics.