As we approach the end of the year we often reflect on the challenges, growth, and triumphs we have experienced throughout the year. This year, however, we are reflecting on more than just 2018, but on the past 23 years of operation as an organization and the impact our international programs have had in the lives of thousands of individuals. This year was an especially challenging year for FSD and has led to some difficult decisions. We have officially decided to close down our US-based office while we focus our energies on supporting our international teams and local NGO partners in Bolivia, Uganda, Kenya, Nicaragua, and India.
The work that we have been a part of over the last 2+ decades has been life-changing for our volunteers, our community partners, and our staff. The impact has been profound. We have supported more than 4,000 volunteers in nine countries, working with more than 500 community organizations. This influence will continue to impact people around the world as our volunteers continue to build upon their experience with FSD and our communities continue with the projects we supported. The impact of these programs continues to reverberate around the globe, and we are proud of the legacy of FSD. We have built a global community, which together accomplished this impact and positive change.
The support we have seen since FSD was founded in 1995 has been overwhelming. Our university partners and volunteers have helped us develop and pilot new programs with our teams that continue to have a lasting impact in our communities. We have received numerous donations and grants to expand the asset-based community development work that we have seen to be effective around the world. As individuals and as an organization, we are extremely grateful for the role that each of you played in shaping FSD and our global community to promote equality, health, education, environmental justice, and sustainable development around the world. Thanks to your generosity over the past several months, we have been able to successfully complete all of our 2018 programs, make several grants to our partner organizations, as well as support several initiatives in the field.
At FSD, we have always believed that if we worked with a focus on sustainability and empowered local communities, we were sowing seeds for a better future that would continue to grow long after we were gone. Now, as our US organization fades away, we will be putting that theory to the test. We are delighted that many of our long-time partners and field staff will be carrying on the work that we began and nurtured together. To give them the smoothest transition possible, we have identified great potential partners who are exploring direct partnerships with our communities. We are continuing to seek additional partnerships to support our field teams and community partners. If you have ideas or connections that would support the continued sustainability of FSD’s work in the field, please let me know, and I will put you in touch with the right folks on the ground. I can be reached at email@example.com.
While we are no longer accepting donations as a US organization, we’d be happy to put you in touch with the new partners or our site teams if you would like to donate directly to the field.
Thank you again to everyone who donated to FSD this year and in prior years. If you need a tax receipt for your donation this year, please let me know and I’ll ensure you have that in time for tax season. We sincerely appreciate all of the support FSD has received over these past decades. Your donations this year were absolutely critical for achieving a smooth transition.
I also want to thank the FSD board and staff, past and present, for their service, commitment, and passion for the work FSD. The successes of the last 23 years were definitely due to a group effort. I am so grateful for all the energy and passion the board, staff, volunteers, and program participants put into making FSD as impactful as it has been. While I’m sad that we are dissolving the US organization, I am proud of everything that FSD accomplished and am confident that the work and impact will continue for many decades to come.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, site teams, partner organizations, and partner communities, thank you for all of the support you have given FSD.
Sincerely, FSD Founder, Alicia Robb
December 20, 2018