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FSD achieves community-driven goals through asset-based development and international exchange in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. CORE VALUES START WITH ASSETS, NOT PROBLEMS We take an asset-based approach to development work. We begin by listening to the priorities set by our community-based partners at our international program sites. We then identify and utilize existing assets and capacity to address those priorities. MOTIVATE COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP We partner with… [+] leaders, organizations, and stakeholders committed to change, action, and social justice. We stress community ownership and participation before launching initiatives, especially in our volunteer and student programs. GENERATE ENDURING RESULTS AND IMPACT We ensure the outcomes of our support have long-lasting benefits for our partners. We think hard on how to participate appropriately and effectively in development, and on how to become redundant so that our initiatives outlast our involvement. BUILD CAPACITY We strengthen the skills, competencies, and abilities of the leaders at our community-based partners and of our student and professional volunteers. We educate and train, facilitating the sharing of best practices across all of our stakeholders to support our partners’ priorities. BE A BRIDGE We relentlessly build a network of students, professionals, and passionate advocates for our community-based partners to access. We connect this network of assets and volunteers with the work of our partners through our international exchange and grantmaking programs. CHANGE PERSPECTIVES We share our experiences and learnings about the complexities of development with friends, family, and colleagues. We promote cultural exchange and sensitivity, encouraging a reflective approach to navigating cross-cultural issues, confusions, and tensions. PROMOTE RECIPROCITY We operate on our founding principle that producing strong community outcomes must be the priority. We base all partnerships, strategies, and decisions on the Fair Trade Learning concept that we must be ethical and reciprocal in our planning, implementation, and outcomes. MAKING CONNECTIONS FOR GREATER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE IMPACT The power to end poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity is in people. Every person can make a difference. Every person is powerful and has something to contribute. When people work together they are even more powerful. We are committed to uniting people for the common good. Our approach focuses on mobilizing resources—human, economic, and natural—for sustainable, life-changing initiatives. We use an asset-based community development approach that encourages self-reliance and inspires appreciation of existing resources in the community and the confidence to build upon them. We constantly challenge ourselves and others to do more with what we have. We believe that with an attitude of resourcefulness, positive change is possible even in low-resource settings. We facilitate change by bringing together voices of the community, the ongoing efforts of local groups and organizations, and the local resources identified in the community, connecting them with international students, professionals and donors who want to make a difference. Because better results come from working together, we strive to combine diverse experiences, talents, and perspectives to make stronger outcomes. Because we believe that respecting diverse perspectives is critical for constructive dialogue and meaningful progress, we deliberately seek out those perspectives and engage the community in dialogue around important issues. In this way, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We put our heads together with the community at the lead to address issues and bring solutions into reality in a sustainable and locally-appropriate way. HOW WE WORK — OUR MODEL We begin by listening to our community. Our community consists of local NGOs and community members in 6 countries, universities, students, alumni, staff, donors, and socially responsible companies. We listen for what each is seeking to accomplish and what they have to give. We identify community priorities and from there build programs. At each program site, we work with a wide range of grassroots community development organizations addressing issues important to their community such as access to clean water, sustainable agriculture, income generation, education, gender equity, and health care. We have local staff on the ground who are members of that community and who stay in touch with what’s happening. The agenda is set by those local community development organizations. They put forward their ideas and initiatives to improve the quality of life in their community. FSD then works to mobilize human resources, funds, skills, and knowledge to support those locally-led initiatives. FSD works with universities, companies, civic groups and individuals interested in engaging in collaborative, on-the-ground development work alongside local grassroots leaders. FSD provides training and orientation to those students and volunteers as well as facilitating on-going learning and reflection. In each placement, FSD blends the interests and talents of these people with local knowledge and expertise to develop and implement sustainable development projects in the community. To complement this flow of human resources and the accompanying knowledge exchange, FSD offers two kinds of grant programs. First, a competitive grant fund administered by FSD itself. Second, we facilitate the formation of giving circles to act as mini-foundations making grants to community development organizations in our program sites.
The Virtual University of Uganda is fully licenced by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education. As the first online university in the region, we are proud to be part of the technological revolution in tertiary education. We aim to bring premier learning resources to professionals in the fields of public health and international development who wish to obtain a postgraduate qualification without having to take time off work or travel to an outside country. Our… [+] staff are experienced academics who are recruited locally, regionally, and internationally. VUU programmes are accessed through our dedicated learning platform (Moodle) hosted by UP Learning in The Netherlands. Our vast Open Access Digital Library is available to staff, students, and the general public 24/7. We are working with Mbarara University of Science and Technology to deliver a world-class ICT for Development programme fully online, and University of Africa to make our online business administration programme available in Zambia and Southern Africa. As a private-not-for-profit institution, the mission of the Virtual University of Uganda is to achieve excellence in tertiary education provision through providing quality programmes of the highest standards to students who will contribute to positive development in society. The aim of the university is three-fold: First: VUU strives to become the leading provider of quality online education for students who can learn (while they earn) at their own pace and in their own place, and who will, through receiving tertiary education of the highest quality, become instruments of positive change in their workplaces and in society, thereby contributing to development. Second: the university is committed tol help build capacity in Uganda's traditional universities by sharing knowledge and providing support to academic and IT Departments to digitize existing print-based distance-learning materials and to set up new online programmes. Third: the VUU aims to become a hub for online education in the East and Central Africa region. To this end, the VUU programmes will be offered initially in English and later in French. The major objective of the university is to train professionals who can contribute meaningfully to the positive development of their country in the sectors that are, and will be, vital not only to Uganda but also to the region, in the coming decades. Thus, the Virtual University of Uganda will bring tertiary education of the highest international standards to Uganda in order to prepare the coming generation, who are tomorrow's leaders, to participate fully and meaningfully in the country's development. Programmes Overview Our postgraduate programmes blend cutting-edge theoretical knowledge and practical training so that graduates are well equipped to contribute to their fields nationally, regionally, and globally. All VUU programmes are delivered via an e-learning platform and are entirely online. This means that all learning materials are accessed online (using Moodle), including live classes, tutorials, and discussion forums; exams are also done online at the end of each course. Apply online today and take the Admission Test soon! Additional information The PG Diplomas take two calendar years to complete. The Master's programmes are thirty (30) month programmes: two calendar years for courses and a further six months to submit a dissertation. In order to qualify for admission to the Master's dissertation, applicants need to have completed the requisite courses leading to a postgraduate diploma with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Qualified candidates may proceed to the Master's dissertation which will be supervised by a recognised regional or international expert in the field of study chosen. Our Library Our Open Access Library is a vast collection of up-to-date resources that support both student learning and staff research. It is free and open to the general public. Corporate Academy Our Corporate Academy website offers information about our Continuous Professional Development courses and training sessions and our IT workshops and courses.