BURUNDI

Mission start 2006
Impacted population 25,000

Lifting families out of extreme poverty

Context

Political, social and economic crisis, extreme food insecurity, malaria epidemic, negative impact of climate change are issues that impact Burundi, a country in Africa where nearly three quarters of the population lives below the poverty line and 51% of children under 5 years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition. Burundi is in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis. More than 460,000 Burundians are uprooted, whether within the country or in neighboring countries.

FXB in action

Ten Economic and Community Development FXBVillage programs have already been developed in the municipalities of Bujumbura Mairie and Rural, enabling nearly 7,500 adults and children to escape extreme poverty by acquiring the skills needed to survive.

In 2014 and 2018, in this region where the economy and survival are largely dependent on agriculture, hundreds of families lost everything as a result of devastating floods. Thanks to the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the King Baudoin Foundation, the Arcanum Foundation and the International Solidarity Service of the Canton of Geneva, we have been able to fix and rebuild houses and latrines and enable the agricultural activities of the affected families to resume.

In this way, our Economic and Community Development model FXBVillage allows us to provide, in three years, a complete response to the fundamental causes of poverty by simultaneously acting on its predominant factors. It is also about fighting gender discrimination and balancing gender relations so that women, who are more exposed to poverty, have access to the same economic and social opportunities.

 

Our ongoing programs

Malnutrition, unfavorable climatic conditions, disease, unsanitary housing… Burundi’s poorest people face a variety of complex challenges. It would be a mistake to only address the issue of income! Partial aid, addressing only one cause of poverty, is not a sufficient solution to overcome it.

Our work in Burundi would not be possible without the support and trust of our partners: the Arcanum Foundation, the King Baudouin Foundation, the Government of the Principality of Monaco, Swim for Life, as well as the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the International Solidarity Service of the Republic and Canton of Geneva as part of its reconstruction programme.

Testimonial

Before we enrolled in the FXBVillage program, we lived in a very precarious situation in Buterere. Today I am able to raise my six children with dignity and look to the future with confidence.

Rose from the FXBVillage program

Mission impact

Watch the documentary “Generation Rescue”

It describes the transition of 4 participants in FXBVillage programs from a life of extreme poverty to a life of dignity. By telling the story of how these committed women gained independence and economic and social autonomy, this documentary provides a glimpse of what it takes to eradicate extreme poverty.

  • From January 2012 to January 2014, three successive external evaluations were undertaken to measure the sustainability of the results of the Nyakabiga FXBVillage program, one year, two years and three years after the end of the program. The results show that 98.2% of children still attend school, 93.7% of households eat twice a day or more, 88.9% of children under 5 years old have a normal brachial perimeter, and families are able to save up to 207,000 Burundian Francs per year (approximately 132 USD). In addition, access to health care is maintained in the long term as all births are attended by medical personnel.
  • An external evaluation, commissioned by the King Baudoin Foundation in 2018, was carried out on all FXBVillage programs developed since 2006. It revealed that nearly 80% of the families suffered a certain stress after the end of the program. Diseases, fire in Bujumbura’s main market, floods in 2014 and 2018, the crisis and socio-political tensions that have prevailed since 2015, and rampant inflation have had a significant impact on certain indicators, such as the frequency of diarrheal diseases, access to sanitation facilities and savings. However, the percentage of families with access to three meals per day is higher in FXB beneficiary households compared to the pre-intervention average and to the regional average. More than 64% of beneficiaries have a diet ranging from “medium diversity” to “good diversity”, while this level is only reached by 53% of households at the national level. The percentage of children under five sleeping under a mosquito net is 65% in Bujumbura City Hall; it varies from 84% to 95% in former households accompanied by FXB. The level of school attendance for children ages from five to 17 is higher in all supported sites compared to the national average. In general, it is noted that even 9 years after the end of a FXBVillage program, former beneficiary families are still operating IGAs, are generally living in better conditions than before the project, and have an economic status close to or higher than that of surrounding households. The impacts of the completed programs remain visible in terms of family resilience, nutrition, education, health, access to water and sanitation, and income generation capacity.

FXB restarted agricultural activities, rehabilitated or rebuilt latrines and houses – made of semi-industrial and environmentally sustainable bricks – for 1,500 children and adults from FXBVillage programs who had lost most or all of their belongings in the April 2018 floods.