Join FSD's Service Trips to Support Grassroots Community Development

Short-term Trip | Long-Term Impact!

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.

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


Water Harvesting GST in Masaka, Uganda (for groups of 8 or more)

Dates: Saturday, August 2 through Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Theme: Environmental Sustainability

The goal of this environmental sustainability project is to support families in villages of Masaka, Uganda to enhance access to clean water and sanitation by developing facilities made from locally available resources with training by local community experts. In these villages, women literally shoulder the burden of traveling long distances to collect water and firewood, often requiring children to help and miss school.

This project, led by FSD's partner organization Renewed Efforts to Alleviate Poverty (REAP), strives to support family homes in rural villages in gaining access to clean water, healthier homes, and enhanced sanitation, as well as serving as models for surrounding community members.


  1. Support households with low-cost, safe rainwater harvesting facilities for domestic use and crop irrigation.
  2. Increase time for women and children to engage in productive household and educational activities respectively.
  3. Reduce rainwater waste and environmental degradation through the application of low-cost water harvesting skills and technology.
  4. Construct complementary projects that improve health, hygiene, and the environment.

Program Fee: $1,990 per person (plus airfare)

Group leaders: To submit the application for your group, fill out the application form and submit it to The information collected on this form will help us customize the GST to fit your group members' interests and skill set.

Public Health GST in Tola, Nicaragua (for groups of 8 or more)

Dates: Thanksgiving, winter, or spring breaks

Theme: Public Health

The goal of this public health project is to improve the quality of life of the residents of El Higueral and neighboring communities by implementing public health education activities focused on preventive care, health awareness, and accessibility to low-cost generic medicines.

Participants will help in promoting healthy habits in the population of El Higueral through a Health Fair, educational activities, and provide opportunities for Nicaraguan medical personnel to give consultations.

You will live with a local Nicaraguan host family, participate in social activities with project beneficiaries, and experience traditional Nicaraguan cultural activities, and take-away an extensive knowledge of the Nicaraguan public health system.


  1. Execute educational and business development activities on the prevention of diseases and the appropriate use of medications at a community drugstore.
  2. Install a "community medicine cabinet” in the drugstore to store and sell generic medicine at a low cost with a prescription, which prevents the self-treatment and unsafe use of medications.
  3. Plan and execute a community health fair to celebrate the opening of the drugstore and provide medical consultations with Nicaragua Ministry of Health personnel. GST participants will provide health education activities and develop workshops on nutrition.
  4. Work with a committee to create a plan for monitoring and evaluation of the project, ensuring sustainability and relicability.

Program Fee: $1,565 per person (plus airfare)

Group leaders: To submit the application for your group, fill out the application form and submit it to by. The information collected on this form will help us customize the GST to fit your group members' interests and skill set.


Open Enrollment GST in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua

Dates: Saturday, July 19 through Sunday, July 27, 2014

Theme: Youth Development

Project Description: This GST group will work with one of FSD´s community partner organizations and a local school to strengthen environmental consciousness and develop educational workshops that display the importance of environmental sustainability within the community. Live with a host family and learn about local culture and customs. Visit artisan markets and local historical sites to learn about local history.

Program Components:

  • Day 1-3: Orientation to Nicaragua and FSD, tour of Managua; settle into host families; meet partner organizations, participate in workshops about environmental issues, and visit the project beneficiaries; visit a local artisan market and go shopping.
  • Day 4–6: Work with the partner organizations to develop workshops on environmental topics such as deforestation and recycling; start work on the school garden; trip to the lake for swimming and boating; continue project work.
  • Day 7-9: Finish the garden project and finalize workshops; participate in a workshop about the Nicaraguan educational system; present the accomplishments to the local community; participate in goodbye parties with the partner organizations and the host families; closing dinner at a typical Nicaraguan restaurant.

Program Fee: $1,565 per person (plus airfare)

To apply, fill out the application form and submit it to The information collected on this form will help us customize the GST to fit your interests and skill set.



WHAT: Constructing Clean Water Systems

A devastating water crisis in Masaka, Uganda has left millions of people without safe drinking water, and facing deadly diseases. ProCorps Volunteers help raise awareness of hygienic practices, and to design and construct rainwater harvesting tanks, providing vital clean water during dry seasons.

WHERE: Masaka, Uganda

WHO: CHEDRA seeks consultants with necessary expertise for constructing rainwater harvesting tanks and those who can audit existing equipment. Are you willing to work in rural communities? Can you handle working in a different culture as part of a cross-cultural team? Do you possess construction skills? Volunteers should be self-motivated and ready to work without much supervision.


WHAT: Building Administrative Capacity for Microenterprises

The county seat of Tola City is home to numerous small businesses and social enterprises. Many of these organizations are supported by La Casa de la Mujer (Women's House), which, in addition to offering advocacy and legal services for women, runs programs to encourage entrepreneurship. The small businesses in Tola would benefit greatly from training on administrative and operational functions with basic business concepts and tools. Through facilitating workshops on strategic and organizational planning, marketing, and basic accounting systems, ProCorps Volunteers would help small business owners and cooperatives strengthen their bottom line and assure sustainability.

WHERE: Tola, Nicaragua

WHO: La Casa de la Mujer seeks consultants who have the expertise in small business management and training. Are you willing to work in a semi-rural community? Can you handle working in a different culture as part of a cross-cultural team? Individuals, couples, groups of friends, and colleagues are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have an intermediate level of Spanish.


The price of the GST is determined by the length of stay, accommodations the group chooses, and the size of the group. The prices ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 per participant (not including airfare). The program fees cover:

  • Pickup and drop off to local airport
  • All food and lodging
  • Transport
  • Project materials
  • Constant Site Team support
  • Additional cultural, educational, and recreational activities
  • Monitoring and evaluation after group leaves
  • Predeparture sessions with FSD staff


Check out these videos from our GST participants!