FSD Internships in Kenya

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FSD and its partner organizations in Kakamega, Kenya work to supply training, education, micro-finance, healthcare, and other resources for women and their families. One of the largest obstructions to development in Kenya is the suffocation of information systems. FSD works with community-based organizations to address the environmental, economic, and social issues that affect them the most.

  • Our site in Kakamega is home to some of the world's most mesmerizing natural wonders and people. Kenya has a wealth of biological and cultural diversity.
  • Receive intensive training in skills essential to sustainable development, such as: community asset mapping, needs assessments, collaborative project design, grant writing, and project monitoring and evaluation. Your 9 week+ internship will begin with a w
  • Develop and support educational and vocational programs that include training, resources and psychosocial support for orphans, vulnerable children, and marginalized women.
  • Create informational material for ecotourists and provide marketing and business development consulting to further develop programs like an elephant sanctuary, which generates revenue for contributing farmers and protects plant species. A keystone of the
  • Access the FSD Alumni Network upon your return home. You'll be forever connected with like-minded individuals who help one another reach their academic and professional goals through networking and regional events. Regular Alumni Newsletters and our vibra

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Questions & Answers

All participants stay with host families who provide a private room with a locking door, 3 meals a day and safe drinking water. All our host families are trained in how to provide emotional and cultural support to participants to ease cultural integration. Our hosts tend to be middle or upper-middle class families in their context. We make every effort to place participants with a host family...


9.33 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 83.33%
  • 7-8 rating 16.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 7.8
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Yes, I recommend this program

Shaped My Whole Future

I traveled to Kakamega with FSD in 2010 on a GST for 4 weeks. A fellow student at SUNY Geneseo had discovered FSD and decided to put an ad in the college newspaper to see how interested other students might be. I luckily stumbled upon it and it has truly shaped my life for the better.

8 other students and I worked abroad with Daisy Special School on three different initiatives; solar cooking, water harvesting and income generation. Before I got to Kakamega, I had had an understanding of sustainable grassroots development, but had never seen or understood how to implement it.

I was incredibly impressed with how FSD managed to not only help us complete huge projects (we planted over 300 trees for both nutrients and harvesting, learned/taught Daisy how to use solar cookers, and installed/taught maintenence of three 250 gallon water tanks), but FSD also gave us lessons in Swahili, alotted us numerous days reviewing our progress and our ever progressing understanding of "sustainable development", provided us host families, and even brought us to neighboring towns for a greater understanding of Kenyan culture.

After my internship I went on to graduate with a degree in International Relations in the Developing World and am looking forward to spending 6 months working in Kenya as a Program Coordinator. I can't wait to help teach others even a little bit of what FSD has taught me.

The saying goes "teach a man to fish and he eats forever". FSD has taught me not only how to teach a man to fish, but also to teach him how to teach others, so the whole community can eat.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing about my program, it would have been the length of time: I could have stayed much, much longer.
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FSD Creates an Impactful Experience

I had participated in two month-long global experiences with different organizations prior to my FSD program. FSD stood out with its emphasis on community partnership and sustainability. They really made participants think about their role within the project, and how they could empower the community to take an active role in the project. This was incredibly refreshing, as the other trips I went on encouraged a savior mentality.
With the FSD program I had an opportunity to interact with locals daily, and it was an enriching experience. Living standards for the students were incredible, and they all greatly enjoyed their home stays.

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Experience that catalyzed my career

After several months of research into ALL abroad organizations, FSD stood out as best bang for my buck, and I loved the mission of long-term sustainability. I interned with FSD in Kenya in 2007 for many reasons, but mainly to move my career into a different direction, toward my passion for giving back to others in the world after being stuck in a dead-end job after I graduated college. The experience is very challenging (mostly on a personal level) and requires initiative, self-reflection, and flexibility. It is set up to provide both independence/freedom with what you get out of it and contribute, while always having a strong support network (and educational trainings) through the staff, host-organization, and family- as well as other interns. I was there during political unrest and ended up being evacuated early. Little did I know at the time how much FSD impacted me. As I left Kenya I realized that it was so life-changing that I needed to return, and it had to be with FSD. I returned as a field coordinator with FSD and now I work in headquarters. Yes, I am a staff now, but I want you to know my story and why I have stayed with FSD. My internship in Kenya required me to take initiative and learn about what sustainability REALLY looks like in the field, and completely shifted my idealistic views of international community-based development work. My biggest take away from my internship- development is not about helping others and giving them solutions, it is about collaboration, relationship-building and appreciating different perspectives.

Also- I LOVED my host-family and am still in touch!

What would you improve about this program?
I would like the program length to be longer.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

My internship through FSD at the end of 2007 was incredible, a truly foundational experience for me that changed how I see the world and the role I want to play in it. I learned about other cultures and world views, about self dependence and international travel, what it is really like to be a foreigner, and about the complex challenges facing sustainable development. Kenya was a wonderful place to be and learn, and the support and logistics provided by FSD were outstanding. I would do it again in a heart beat!

What would you improve about this program?
I only wish I could have stayed longer!
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Yes, I recommend this program

DIY Development Internship

I had a wonderful experience interning in Kenya. One thing to know is that there isn't much guidance. Like the headline states, it's a very do-it-yourself kind of program. While you receive some guidance from the program staff, they're not with you everyday in your field placement. I'm not sure how it was for everybody, but based on my experience and the other interns in my group, our host organizations didn't provide much guidance either. They were eager to help and extremely excited to have interns, but expected you to be an expert on everything. Coming straight out of undergrad, I, unfortunately, was not. However, what better way to learn and gain experience than to be thrown right in and expected to find a problem and solve it on your own.

It's was an incredible experience. Not just because of the internship, but living in a developing country with the locals. My host family and neighbors constantly reminded me how excited they were to have someone from the US in their village who was there to get to know them as people and to help them. Apparently, most people from the US and Europe that go to Kenya are only there for the animals and the landscape. So while the internship was intended for work experience and to help the people in the community, it was way more than that. Not to be too cliche, but it was a life changing experience and I feel like the community members and my host family helped me way more than I helped them.

I won't sit here and lie, saying that it was a piece of cake. There were lots of tough things to deal with such as the language barrier, many shocking/uncomfortable cultural practices, lack of time management and structure in working conditions, the food, and the living conditions in general. There were also the obvious "issues", if you will, of being the only white person in a village and being fairly isolated, but again, I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. All the absurdities, all the awkwardness, all the frustrations, all the loneliness, all the hardships were completely worth it and resulted in an amazing growth experience, both personally and intellectually.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone who has an interest in development work but doesn't have much or any experience living abroad, isn't sure they want to devote 2 years to the Peace Corps, or just wants a new life experience.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a Lifetime Experience

I chose FSD's Kakamega program because I knew it would get me out of my comfort zone. There are very few Americans there so it was like being in a fish bowl (something everyone should experience at some point in their life).

I lived with a great family, I enjoyed the organization I interned with. I don't know if I made a huge difference but that is expected when you are only some place for a short period of time. I was definitely impacted though. I really appreciated my relationship with the other interns and two of the staff members (they are no longer there though). The onsight FSD director was pretty much non-existent my entire time there. We also went on a couple really great trips which made it easier to explore the area.

I'm happy I had this experience in my life.

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