Since 1989, 17,000 families – more than 75,000 people – have become self-sufficient as a result of our FXBVillage programmes. With our FXBVillage programmes across Burundi, China, Colombia, Mongolia, Myanmar, India, Rwanda and Uganda, we’re incredibly proud and hopeful of the long-lasting impact of our work.
But don’t take our word for it; here are some firsthand accounts of former FXBVillage participants:
FXBVillage participant, Uganda
FXBVillage participant, Rwanda
FXBVillage participant, Rwanda
Discover some of the great festive stories
of the FXBVillage participants who will be enjoying Christmas, some of whom for the very first time:
Nyiramana Venantie, Rwanda
Nyiramana Venantie is a 37 year old widow who cares for six children. She is a participant in the Mukingo FXBVillage programme in the Nyanza district in Rwanda. Thanks to FXB’s support she now runs a shop selling food and basic supplies, that is looking forward to a busy Christmas. Many of her customers have placed orders already to get ahead of the Christmas rush.
At home, she has been saving since January for this year’s Christmas celebrations. She has already paid for the goat and will buy rice and oil for cooking. She also plans to carefully protect the plantains she grows from potential theft so the family can enjoy them at Christmas.
She plans to make the most of Christmas this year, an important time of celebration for her family.
The Rushubi FXBVillage programme participants
The participants of the Rushubi FXBVillage programme in Rwanda have suffered many difficult moments in the past. Before joining, their children had left school, they often went to bed hungry, and they had to make do with irregular income
The future now looks brighter.
Together with FXB they set up several group businesses and cooperatives. These groups allow them to work together to secure income for all members and improve their standard of living. This year, they will group together to buy supplies for Christmas celebrations with their profits. They say that, thanks to FXB, they no longer feel humiliated or isolated within their community and are looking forward to celebrating together.
Sylvain Bazambanza, Rwanda
Sylvain Bazambanza, 39, comes from the Nyamagabe district in Rwanda, and is married with five children.
Before joining an FXBVillage programme in 2012, his life was really tough. He didn’t have any livestock or land to cultivate and grow crops on, and he struggled to support his family. They didn’t have health insurance, his children didn’t have what little school supplies they needed and he had very little hope for the future.
He says: “since becoming part of the FXBVillage programme, the support we’ve received has been incredible. Not only have they provided school and medical supplies, support for people living with HIV and AIDS, and general guidance on family planning, hygiene and healthcare, but they have also given us a livelihood – a pig. From selling our pig’s 42 piglets, we were able to buy a cow and a plot of land, and my husband and I can now feed our family, and buy our own clothes and household groceries.”
“I also grow potatoes, some of which I keep for our own meals and the rest of which I sell, providing another much-needed source of income for my family.”
Christmas will be a really special one for Sylvain this year, as his two-month old daughter Spéciose is being baptised on Christmas Day. Thanks to his regular income, he will now be able to buy new clothes for his children and food and drink for the party, and he will be able to celebrate the New Year happily with his family and neighbours. This is a world away from previous Christmases, when there was never any hope of celebration or new clothes. He says: “before FXB’s help, every day was the same; working until I sweated and ached to make sure my family survived. Now my family and I have hope for tomorrow.”
Nite is a widow, 49 years old, with five children from Uganda.
Nite dropped out of school when she was 15 and married a man from Kanganve, who already had two older wives. Nite and her husband had eight children, and they all lived together with her husband’s other wives and their respective children, in a semi-permanent three-bedroom house made of mud and wattle.
Soon, the other wives divorced Nite’s husband and left their children behind in Nite’s care.
During Uganda’s Civil War, Nite’s husband was kidnapped, presumed dead. Nite managed to escape her village with all of the children to hide in the bush and escape the violence. She stayed there with all 11 children for nearly a year and a half.
When the war ended in 1986, Nite went back to their family’s land, only to find that her husband’s brother-in-law had taken it over. Nite’s efforts to regain the land proved fruitless in a post-war Uganda with little civil order. Nite was left alone, with no way to support herself or her children.
Nite moved back to her birthplace – Semuto Sub County – to a thatched mud room on her late parents’ land, where she began a new life with her children. She attempted to grow coffee, but the land wasn’t productive enough and when her children returned to school she couldn’t afford uniforms, books or basic household necessities.
In 1994, Nite was accepted onto the FXBVillage programme in Semuto. As part of this, one of her children was enrolled for school support and the family was given a bull to provide Nite with a source of income.
Nite exchanged the bull for a cow which produced three calves. She sold two of the calves and exchanged the third for a crossbreed cow. She now gets 12 litres of milk a day from the cow, which she uses to feed her family and sells to others in her village. From these profits, Nite has built a permanent house for her family.
She now stays in the house with her two young children and four of her grandchildren. Nite said:
Nze ndi bulungi kat. Nsobola okulisa abbana bange, baana bange balina webasula atenga wagumu. Nze FXB nebwebalekerawo okunkyalira, sirina kutya kwona.
I am now okay in my home. I am able to feed my children. The children have somewhere to stay. Even if FXB stopped visiting me, I have no fear at all. I can now manage on my own.
Mgarambe Amus, Uganda
Mgarambe Amus was born in 1985 in the Kanungu district of western Uganda.
When she was five years old, her parents died of AIDS. Mgarambe then moved to live with her uncle, but he was alcoholic and often beat her when drunk.
One day, Mgarambe asked her uncle if she could go to school to study. He replied that she could, if she paid her own school fees. Mgarambe worked hard and went to school. She persisted without any funding, despite having no school books and having to do her school work on the floor.
Happily, in 1997 primary education was made mandatory in Uganda, allowing Mgarambe to continue her studies. Despite her uncle trying to make her drop out of school and marry, after seven years she finished primary education.
In 2004 Mgarambe started at the local secondary school. However, she was continually absent as she had to work in order to pay her school fees. When she was unable to pay, she travelled to the town of Fort Portal to earn money as a tea picker and then returned to school.
One day, Mgarambe went to the market to meet another of her uncles who she had not seen for a while. He asked her about her life and couldn’t stop crying when she told him the truth. He explained that his brothers were all killed by the rebels in 1997 and that he had to take care of fifteen orphans and three widows. Their lives were hard already, but he decided to take Mgarambe with him.
In 2007, the FXB team came to the aid of the whole family. Mgarambe was finally able to study, with no interruptions and with the materials she needed. Mgarambe used to believe that she couldn’t study because she was an orphan, but in 2008, she began her fourth year at secondary school.
Suleiman was part of the FXBVillage program in Bulenga (Uganda) which finished in December 2013.
When FXB first met Suleiman, he was just four years old. His father had died when he was only a year old and he was living with his mother and four siblings.
When the FXB Uganda Country Director first met Suleiman early in 2013, the young boy asked if FXB could provide him with a chicken so he could use its eggs for food and sell the rest to help his family make more money. FXB supported Suleiman and provided one cock and three hens, also helping Suleiman’s mother to buy chicken feed and a temporary pen for the birds.
Every day before and after school, Suleiman fed the birds. They laid 18 eggs each week, nine of which Suleiman sold and nine of which he gave to his mother and siblings to eat.
Thanks to Suleiman’s close care and attention, one of the hens has given birth to seven chicks and Suleiman’s mother has used the money from selling the eggs to buy three more hens and now has a permanent chicken pen.
Sulieman’s great idea and continued hard work – at such a young age – is proof that small sustainable changes executed well can have a huge impact upon those living in extreme poverty.