The FXBVillage Gisiza started in November 2014 in Muhanga District, Rwanda. The program currently empowers 602 people – 365 children and 237 adults – from 80 vulnerable families affected by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS. Here is the first progresses of Vestine after 6 months in the program:
Vestine Mukaruziga is a 38 years old mother with 5 children. With her husband in prison, she might have died because of sickness and food shortage without FXB intervention. Back then, she earned less than 1 USD per day from casual work she did for neighbors.
As she is HIV positive, she lost a lot of weight during ten months just after the birth of her last child, who is also infected by the virus. Another orphan she cares in her family is also HIV positive. However, he is able to attend secondary school.
The limited income she could get through casual work prevents her to properly feed the family members. It was hard to survive especially given the fact that she is the only one to take care of the children. Another consequence of limited earnings concerns her two children who were enrolled in secondary school. They eventually dropped out while another child has never attended school. Besides, the hygiene conditions in which the family lives were catastrophic: no beds, no blankets, no material to store drinkable water and so on.
Since FXB started supporting her family in November 2014, the most outstanding change in the life of the family regards nutrition. Indeed, thanks to FXB nutritional support, the level of malnutrition began to decline sharply, the children are able to eat three times per day and Vestine found the energy to work more. As a result of nutritional support, Vestine increased her weight from 39 kg before the start of the program to 49 kg in April 2015. Although her new born child is still underweight, his weight went from 6 kg at eight months – while the ideal weight is 9 kg – to 8.5 kg instead of an ideal weight of 11 kg.
She is taking ARV treatment for HIV as indicated. In addition, she attended trainings on hygiene and received hygiene material. The members of her beneficiary group supported her in creating a new ventilated pit latrine and elevated beds for all children.
In economic terms, Vestine participated in 3 training session on income generating activities (IGA). Then, she chooses pig rearing as IGA and opened a bank account in order to start savings. She built a pigsty and now received pigs as first installment.
Her greatest appreciation for FXB has been the fair procedure of selection of participants. According to her, the project is supporting the right people, namely the most vulnerable families affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS.