Launched in 1998, the FXB Women’s project was designed to improve the quality of life of women in Machacamarca through a comprehensive community-based program that both addressed the needs of destitute families and those of the community as a whole. Several programs were set up: literacy, poultry-breeding, hothouse cultivation, a children’s program, bread-making, environmental protection, and reproductive health.
Established in a participatory manner that promotes local ownership, the FXB Women and Children Association of Machacamarca is today an independent entity, led entirely by the beneficiaries. The women have been empowered to rely on themselves and take control over their own lives.
Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Two-thirds of the population lacks access to health care services, water and sanitation, as well as adequate nutrition, particularly in the rural areas. In the rural town of Machacamarca, located in the State of Oruro, environmental conditions exacerbate hardships. High altitude, low temperatures and lack of fertile land hamper subsistence farming and, in the absence of other sources of income, jeopardize individual’s capacity to secure survival.
- Developed agricultural income-generating activities (IGAs) at the family level, particularly through poultry-breeding, to increase household income and provide foodstuffs.
- Provided appropriate technologies – hothouses – to overcome environmental obstacles and facilitate the production of vegetables for personal consumption as well as for commercial purposes.
- Created a communal bakery, thereby encouraging community mobilization and solidarity.
- Organized vocational training to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to run IGAs in a sustainable and efficient manner.
- Trained beneficiaries in small business management as well as in marketing to help them optimize their ventures.
Organized training and information sessions to raise awareness on health-related issues, especially reproductive health, hygiene, nutrition, environmental protection, and community development.