The mountainous Bu Tuo county is located in Liangshan – the autonomous prefecture of the Yi community of Sichuan province, one of the poorest in China.
With one in five inhabitants living in poverty and an illiteracy rate of nearly 75%, the population of Bu Tuo suffers from malnutrition, poor hygiene conditions, and a wide disparity between men and women. The Yi have their own language and have great difficulty communicating in Mandarin. In addition, poverty and economic inequality among minority groups are widely acknowledged issues.
They have led to the marginalisation of development among the Yi and to more social problems, such as drug abuse, alcoholism and domestic violence.
Families have little respect for education which results in low school attendance, especially for girls. Early marriages and child rearing lead to women bearing the main burden of work in the family.
Many women are illiterate, have no education and very often lack specific skills that could help them increase their income and decision-making power and, consequently, their quality of life.
FXB in action
FXB is registered in China as a local organization, under the name “Bu Tuo Eyas”, and works closely with the local branches of the Chinese Women’s Federation.
Malnutrition, illiteracy, lack of economic opportunities, unfavourable weather conditions, disease, unsanitary housing… Bu Tuo’s poorest people face a variety of complex challenges. It is a mistake to address only the issue of income! Partial aid, which only addresses one cause of poverty, is not a sufficient solution to overcome it.
Our Economic and Community Development model FXBVillage provides a complete response to the root causes of poverty in three years.
This holistic approach to poverty reduction aims to simultaneously addresses its predominant factors: economic poverty, malnutrition, lack of access to health care, lack of access to education in the broadest sense and to information, and unsanitary housing and the environment.
It is also a matter of tackling gender discrimination and balancing relations between men and women so that the latter, who are more exposed to poverty, can have access to the same economic and social opportunities.
FXB China therefore conducts theoretical and practical education programs, complementary to FXBVillage programs, to build the capacity of vulnerable women in Yi communities. These trainings range from learning basic Mandarin to acquiring professional knowledge in various fields, from prevention to domestic violence and family health prevention in general.
FXB has also developed an ‘I am Who’ manual that has been recognized as a best practice by UNICEF China for building children’s capacities. The overall idea of this activity is to combat stigma by rebuilding children’s imaginations through the writing of their stories. The Beijing Information and Monitoring Institute also evaluated its impact on the psychological state of children very positively in 2009.