Global Service Trips



The Foundation for Sustainable Development works with more than 250 partner organizations to create incremental, lasting change in communities around the world. With a Global Service Trip, participants help make that change happen through a hands-on, short-term volunteer experience. It’s an intense, immersive program for individuals and groups looking to gain some training and experience in international development.


A Global Service Trip (GST) is an opportunity for a group or individual to break out of routine and experience something different, while also implementing meaningful change. A GST in not a vacation, but the chance to help an underserved community tackle a high priority problem.

For 1 to 4 weeks, groups of 8+ provide critical support to one of our 250+ community-based partner organizations. There are two ways to apply, either as a formed group or just as an individual. The more time participants are able to commit to a project, the more effective it can be.

The experience begins before home country departure. We talk with each participant and group about their skills, past experiences, and areas of interest in order to make optimal use of them and, consequently, the greatest positive impact on a community.

Upon site arrival, everyone participates in an in-country orientation led by FSD's local site team. The orientation discusses both theory (such as FSD's asset-based community development model) and day-to-day details (such as how to navigate the local transit system). Then the site team introduces the group to the host organization and project work begins. Each project somehow relates to community development, and the overall focus is always on community involvement, sustainability, and effectiveness.


FSD has 10 sites in six countries: Argentina, Bolivia, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Uganda. Each location is unique in its culture, history, level of development, and more; all locations have demonstrated a willingness and ability to work with FSD to strengthen their local communities. Our site teams at each site actively build relationships with new and established host families and community partners to facilitate safe, culturally immersive, and developmentally impactful programs.

Each site has community partner organizations working in seven focus areas: Gender Equity, Equal Rights, Youth Development, Economic Development, Community Development, Health, and Environmental Sustainability.


An established group of 8 or more can jointly apply for a GST. Companies often participate, sending a team abroad to make a positive impact on an underserved community and gain a new perspective. These groups are generally very impactful because the participants have previous experience with one another, so already know how to function effectively as a team.


Individuals without an established applicant group can still join a GST! We frequently hear from interested individuals, and we simply gather them into their own group. In addition to doing good global work, these individual-applicant GST participants get the opportunity to form connections with other people who share their interest in sustainable international development.

The GST Program Fee covers all essential costs, such as:

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  • Pre-departure project design and coordination with the US-based staff
  • Airport pickup and drop off
  • Program coordination and 24/7 back-up support from the FSD site team/li>
  • Family homestay with all meals provided
  • In-country orientation training on health, safety, development, language, and cultural integration
  • Service project fund to the host-organization
  • Continued educational seminars/workshops
  • Cultural activities
  • Medical evacuation and limited traveller's health insurance.

ONE GST OPPORTUNITY: Group Enrollment—Water Harvesting in Masaka, Uganda

  • Community Partner: Renewed Efforts to Alleviate Poverty (REAP)
  • Themes: Environment and Appropriate Technology; Gender Equity; Health and Education
  • Objectives: reduce rainwater waste and environmental degradation; support households with low cost safe rainwater harvesting facilities for domestic use and crop irrigration; increase time for the women and female children to engage in more productive work and educational activies; construct complementary projects that improve health and aid the environment.

See more GST opportunities!

FSD Global Service Trip Brochure

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