Join FSD's Service Trips to Support Grassroots Community Development

The Foundation of Sustainable Development (FSD) offers volunteers a different kind of alternative break. Our Global Service Trips (GSTs) provide short-term field experience in international community development supporting one of our more than 250 community-based partner organizations.

For one to four weeks, groups of at least eight volunteers provide critical support for FSD’s beneficiaries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We work with your group to design a project that fits your interests and prepare you for your time abroad. Once you are in country, FSD staff and community partners provide the volunteers support in a safe and secure environment throughout the period.

GST’s are tailored to fit the interests of a group as they map their knowledge and expertise to specific program requirements. We enable optimum use of available human resources to address health, social, environmental, and economic issues of the communities we serve.

The GST Program Fee includes all essential costs for your participation in this program, such as:

  • Pre-departure project design and coordination with the US-Based Staff
  • Airport pickup and drop off
  • 24/7 Support and Program Coordination from the FSD Site Team
  • Family homestay with all meals provided
  • In-country orientation training on health, safety, development, language, and cultural integration
  • Service project fund to your host-organization
  • Continued educational seminars/workshops
  • Cultural activities
  • Medical evacuation and limited traveller's health insurance.

For more information on GSTs: | 415-283-4873


Community Development in Salta, Argentina

Community Partner Organization: Manos Abiertas

Date: January 2-16, 2015 (14 days; dates flexible)

Cost: $1,890

Project details: Manos Abiertas has provided a residential facility for underhoused men since 2006. It has provided housing for more than 600 people, and it is estimated that half of them are able to successfully obtain housing, work, or other support services after their time at the NGO. Just as importantly, Manos Abiertas has helped them reconnect with their friends and families. The residential facility has space for 20 men, between 25 and 60 years old. It is located in the middle of Salta city, the capital of the province of Salta. This residential facility needs a “facelift.” Volunteers will work with the Manos Abiertas staff and volunteers to put everything in order, paint the building, and ensure compliance with safety standards.


  • Paint and organize the residential facility
  • Ensure safety and security at the residential facility
  • Organize the kitchen and improve efficiency

Project Components

  • Jan 2: Arrive in Salta
  • Jan 3-4: Orientation to Salta and Argentina, review of health and safety guidelines, city tour, introduction to community development, introduction to host families
  • Jan 5: Introduction and planning meeting with the organization Manos Abiertas
  • Jan 6-10: Project work
  • Jan 11: Cultural excursion outside of the city of Salta
  • Jan 12-14: Finish project work
  • Jan 15: Goodbye party!
  • Jan 16: Leave Salta. Adios!

To submit your application, fill out the application form and submit it to

Medicinal Gardens in Udaipur, India

Partner Organization: Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti (JJVS)

Theme: Environment, Traditional Health

Dates: January 12-21, 2014 (10 days; dates flexible)

Cost: $1,495

Project Details: The goal of the project is to promote sustainable life support systems, such as traditional medicine, income generation and biodiversity through the conservation of Community Conserved Areas and Sustainable Pockets around Udaipur, Rajasthan. Specifically linked with Traditional Healers in the area, JJVS works towards the promotion and revitalization of primary health care solutions through traditional medicine and nutritional support.

Project Objectives:

  • Promote the conservation of Sustainable Pockets and conserve the biodiversity of natural life support systems
  • Promote the use of local medicinal and nutritional plants as primary and preventative health care solutions
  • Work with local Gunis to design and establish growth of a Sustainable Pocket in order to promote biodiversity and conservation of medicinal and nutritional plants.
  • Introduce the concept of biodiversity and natural life support systems to community members through a Community Event focused on Traditional Medicine and healers

Program Components:

  • Day 1-3: Orientation to JJVS to include a field trip to meet Traditional Healers (Gunis), learn about JJVS work on Traditional Medicine and environmental conservation, and visit Guni Clinics and Guni Training cum Treatment Centres around Udaipur.
  • Day 4-6: Work with Gunis to select plants and start plantation and conservation at a Sustainable Pocket focusing on nutritional and medicinal plants
  • Day 7-9: Finish work at the Sustainable Pocket and present the garden to the local community through an exhibition on Biodiversity and Traditional Medicine

To submit your application, fill out the application form and submit it to

Click here to see the complete list of GST opportunities for 2014-2015.

FSD’s Global Scholars Program

The Global Scholars program offers international service-learning experiences to at-risk Bay Area youth. Participants travel travel to Tola, Nicaragua to assist with community-driven projects while developing their capacity for communication and teamwork. Through the Global Scholars program, young people learn to see their experiences and situations in a global context. The program allows participants to strengthen their character and their college applications with unique service and learning. Trips are organized around community development projects that require the youth to communicate and plan as a group and to coordinate with local community members. All projects take place in FSD’s framework of sustainable development, which trains participants to learn about the qualities of successful and sustainable projects through direct participation.

Click here to read the Global Scholars brochure.


Check out these videos from our GST participants!