Opened in 1992, the Casa FXB (FXB House) in Montevideo, Uruguay, works to respond to the growing impoverishment of the local population and its harmful consequences on children. Many children had to resort to the streets for survival, living off scraps found in rubbish bins in extremely dangerous slums. Victims of stigmatization and discrimination, violence and sexual exploitation, these children were constantly exposed to HIV and STIs. Concerned by this and the lack of opportunities for young people, FXB set up an educational project that helps vulnerable children and adolescents find productive ways of confronting the problems posed by poverty and to build brighter futures through vocational training.
The FXB House in Montevideo also provides HIV prevention information, which is particularly valuable for the area’s street children. Young people are also offered psychological and emotional support, appropriate levels of sex education, lessons in children’s rights, and basic life skills and vocational training. This all helps to restore young people’s dignity and sense of self-worth.
Following a long lobbying struggle initiated by FXB Founder and President Albina du Boisrouvray, many families from the FXB House managed to obtain decent housing. As part of helping these families continue to live in a rural environment, FXB encouraged the development of farming activities that can lead to self-sufficiency. This prompted improvements in health for everyone in the program, especially children. Program participants under 25 were more than twice as likely to have a job compared to their peers in Montevideo. FXB also took part in an initiative led by UNICEF to add a line to the national budget which referred to monetary support for families caring for orphans.