Our community development programs help reduce extreme poverty by strengthening local health and education institutions. We achieve impact through evidence-based programming, cost-effective management, and strong local partnerships.


Make high school accessible to anyone, anywhere by designing a one-room schoolhouse for the 21st century

1Room is a pilot-stage initiative to design an ultra low-cost, competency-based high school program that can serve the world’s most marginalized learners. 1Room aims to deliver a complete curriculum with as little as a single classroom and as few as 15 learners, for less than 15% of per capita national income per student. We achieve this through personal learning technology and staffing systems that can work offline and off-grid.

1Room is sponsored by PfID and several other NGO partners in the field. It is a complex initiative with many distinct components that draw upon, and that will build, a range of skill sets: curriculum design, digital content production, operations management, process engineering, monitoring and evaluation design, training and capacity building, partnership development, policy research, marketing, and market research.

Visit our 1Room Website


Train and empower local nursing students to deliver hygiene and sanitation programs to thousands of children prone to water-borne illness.

Launched in 2014, AguaSalud, our health promotion program in Peru, teaches personal hygiene and sanitation to primary and secondary students. Informed by community members and executed in collaboration with local volunteers, this program strives to decrease the prevalence of gastrointestinal disease among children by improving water-related health behaviour through student-led workshops. As a secondary message in communities that face regular municipal water shortages, AguaSalud also teaches children about the household economics of water storage and conservation.

This project requires intermediate (converational) Spanish and strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Community Development Program

Health Infrastructure

Coordinate local construction teams to open government-run clinics, wards, and labs in extremely poor rural communities.

On our health infrastructure team, you will hire and oversee teams of local carpenters and masons to build, expand, or renovate primary healthcare facilities in rural communities, in consultation with local engineers, contractors, and county government officials. Your work will involve budgeting, procurement, inventory management, payroll management, engagement with local government and community stakeholders. Our infrastructure projects exclusively support the public healthcare system to ensure access and sustainability.

Our largest health infrastructure projects include two maternity wards, two medical laboratories (check out our video), two lab renovations, a main dispensary block, five rainwater capture and storage systems, two pit latrines, two high-yielding gardens to subsidize staff meals. Many of our construction projects have been very successfully led by young women; this is significant and symbolically important, as women in our partner communities do not typically hold leadership positions in male-dominated professions.

Infrastructure projects require larger amounts of funding and strong organizational skills. Applicants should be prepared to fundraise with ambition and zeal, to be highly organized in the field, and to be no wallflower when it comes to bargaining and keeping employees focused.

 SID Orphan Sponsorship Program

Orphan Sponsorship Program

We find children at serious risk of illness or abandonment, and ensure they are healthy, in school, and learning well.

SID alumni have designed a sponsorship program for orphans that has statistically eliminate the academic disadvantage of being orphaned for a meager $80CAD per child per year. Actually, the program has done much more. In a country where only 45% of public primary school students pass the grade 8 national exams, our orphans in Kenya, who are selected on the basis of need, not academic merit, have achieved a 100% pass rate since 2013.

There are over 50 orphaned and vulnerable children sponsored through the program, which provides a simple set of supports: a mid-day meal, a healthcare spending account, uniforms and supplies, and school-run remedial programs.

Most of the orphans do not yet have regular annual sponsors, and are still funded through general annual donations. Vigorous fundraising is an important part of this project. In the field, the project team’s work covers several areas: needs-based assessments for new program candidates, monitoring and evaluation, program renewal, guardian engagement, and the development of additional program components, such as peer tutoring, peer helping, and other activities to strengthen social capital, mental well-being and learning.

Water Infrastructure

Rehabilitate natural groundwater springs to improve sustainable water access and water safety in rural Kenya.

In partnership with local stakeholders and community leaders, SID has rehabilitated eight water springs, each serving approximately 500 families, for just slightly over $1,000 USD per spring. Our spring improvements tripled water flow, and lab testing showed substantially reduced contamination from natural sediments and microorganisms. Unlike boreholes and wells, these water springs do not lower the water table, and are a fully sustainable water source.

Water spring rehabilitation is a construction project that requires volunteers to interface with local water engineers, laborers, county administrators and village stakeholders. Strong organizational skills, budget management, and communication skills are key.


Note: Impact = cumulative impact over last 5 years

10 water springs rehabilitated

2 dispensaries opened Serves 24,000 patients per year

Primary school attendance for 400 pupils up to 98%

Rural health outreach - 10,000 remote patients treated

2 medical labs constructed

100% primary school pass rate for over 60 orphaned kids

2 maternity wards constructed

Volunteer Voices

SID’s partnership with the Olive Branch for Children in Tanzania gave me a truly unique work experience. I piloted a classroom project (1Room) – based on a completely new, innovative model of education – to deliver secondary school education material to a rural village with no high school. The Olive Branch worked with local leaders to identify what the community wanted, and we worked with them to deliver it. The project had me managing all aspects of setting up a classroom from scratch, including pedagogy, community outreach, project sustainability, digital technologies and human resources. The overall experience was equally challenging and rewarding.

Phil Rafalko