I have been accepted for a volunteer internship through Pro Corps, a program of Foundation for Sustainable Development(FSD). In June, I will be turning my life on its head and moving to Mombasa, Kenya where I will live and work for five and a half months. I will be providing support to a community-based organization (CBO), and contributing my effort and creativity to sustainable project work.
This May, I graduated from San Francisco State with my Masters in Public Administration. I focused my studies on international development work and non-profit management. I am very excited to now gain meaningful, hands-on international development experience.
FSD’s method for supporting sustainable development is to partner with small CBOs that predominantly do not receive funding from CARE, USAID, or other major sources. These CBOs are doing great work, but are working so deeply in the trenches that they do not have outreach and fundraising branches. FSD supports these organizations directly by sending volunteers and interns (like me) who donate their passion, time, and expertise. Instead of reducing participant fees, they allocate 100% of their funds to support projects designed collaboratively by participants and their host organizations. The local CBOs could never afford to pay for this support, so the cost must be absorbed by someone else.
FSD Mission: FSD supports the efforts of more than 300 community-based organizations throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America to support sustainable change. We believe development begins with the community and is only sustainable if it comes from and is supported by the members of these communities. Our development model relies on active community participation to mobilize lasting solutions. While respecting local value systems, we partner with local leaders to build networks and collaborate on community-driven approaches to development issues.
I believe that FSD’s mission and intern program is a practical model for effectively channeling the most financial resources and professional skills possible to needy communities, while guaranteeing that the resources are used ethically and efficiently, to build a sustainable future.