Heidelberg Sustainable Development Abroad e.V. (HeiSDA) is a student association dedicated to developing projects in the Global South. We harness the energy, enthusiasm and resources of Heidelberg’s student body in order to implement developing projects in the developing world.

Providing financial and non-material support, we assist rural grass root community groups in realising small-scale community-initiated development projects. In doing so we cooperate closely with local NGOs. This cooperation makes sure the projects we fund are sustainable: our NGO partners’ local knowledge guarantees that the projects are actually needed and sensitive to the social context, thus having a positive immediate and long-term impact on the communities. Instead of suggesting projects from outside, we appreciate the local community as the driving force behind both the initial ideas and the implementation of the projects. With these guidelines HeiSDA relies fundamentally on the principles of community-ownership and community-based decisions.

This way we help to alleviate some of the major development issues through basic but most effective development programmes. Most of the development projects funded by HeiSDA are straightforward construction projects implemented to establish a better and healthier life within the communities, particularly emphasising the needs of the most vulnerable groups therein. The projects are either conducted to achieve practical changes to the lives of the host communities or to offer alternative and innovative approaches to community development.

Projects supported by HeiSDA may include building or renovating community buildings, smokeless stoves, latrines, paths or other amenities as well as facilitating informal teaching sessions, awareness raising workshops etc.