CHINA

Mission start 2006
Impacted population 9,000

Lift vulnerable families out of poverty and reduce gender discrimination

Context

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.

Mission impact

  • FXB has implemented 11 economic and community development programs FXBVillage in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. Since 2006, 4,500 adults and children have made the transition from extreme poverty to economic and social self-sufficiency.

In order to create a sustainable and global impact and to generate social mobilization, FXB China organizes parallel capacity building sessions for program participants and surrounding communities. Family planning, the importance of education, hygiene, health, prevention of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, violence against women, children’s rights and environmental protection are among the topics that are addressed to enrich the skills and build the resilience of more than 9,000 community members in Bu Tuo.

  • In 2013, Bu Tuo’s FXBVillage programs were recognized by the Yi Culture Research Center of the Central University of Nationalities and the China Social Welfare Foundation with the “Special Contribution” award for their implications in the development of the Yi community in China.

 

  • In addition, UNICEF and the Beijing Institute for Information and Control evaluated these programmes in 2009 and found significant increases in household income and assets, a 25 per cent reduction in family debt, and significant improvements in children’s health and education. The evaluation also highlighted the fact that orphans have seen their psychological and emotional state improve by at least 6 times since the start of the programme.

Read this evaluation.

Testimonial

We like to say that every child in our programs has a grey past and that we are planting hope for a bright future.

Bruce (Li Yuanqiang), FXB China Director