FXBVillage economic and community development programs in Burundi

Program start 2006
Impacted population 25,000

FXB conducts two Economic and Community Development FXBVillage programs for 1,500 children and adults living in the Bujumbura Rural region.

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.

Our action

Therefore, our Economic and Community Development FXBVillage Model allows us to provide, in three years, a complete response to the fundamental causes of poverty by simultaneously acting on its predominant factors.

Fighting poverty also implies fighting gender discrimination and balancing relations between men and women so that women, who are more exposed to poverty, can have access to the same economic and social opportunities.

Develop the socio-economic capacities of families

  • Establishment of Saving, Credit and Support Groups to provide services to beneficiary families who do not have access to formal financial services. The Saving, Credit and Support Groups help create social bonds, provide space to share challenges and solutions and foster participants’ entrepreneurial spirit
  • Comprehensive training in financial management and entrepreneurship.
  • Training of participants in the creation of more productive and sustainable agricultural systems, notably through the creation of Farmer Field Schools where they will learn ecological practices and Adaptation to Climate Change (ACC). The groups are also equipped with mobile phones through which they will receive meteorological and hydrological monitoring in real time.
  • Donation of a seed capital of 160 Euros to each family in order for them to launch an economic activity in agriculture or another field of their choice.
  • Mentoring families to develop, diversify and ensure the sustainability of their economic activities.

Ensure their food security and eradicate child malnourishment

  • Emergency nutritional support is given to families during the first nine months of the program to help them regain satisfactory health.
  • Creation of individual vegetable gardens for the production of fruits and vegetables for families’ self-consumption.
  • Care for malnourished children under 5 years old and pregnant or lactating women.

Promote their access to health care and disease prevention

  • Registration of families with a health insurance company. They are also referred to a center in order to benefit from adequate health care.
  • Trainings in families’ health management and diet, sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, including facilitating tests.
  • Psychosocial support to help families deal with the consequences of poverty and the various forms of violence they are likely to encounter.

Improve their living conditions

  • Sanitation and furnishing of homes with solar lighting, improvement of cooking stoves, latrines, showers and hand-washing stations.
  • Training in recycling and Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH).

Provide schooling for children, vocational training for adolescents and young    adults, and community capacity building.

  • Collaboration with schools and teachers to enable school-aged children and young adults to be (re)enrolled in school.
  • Vocational training for teenagers and young adults.
  • Training related to early childhood development, children’s and women’s rights, gender-based violence, family planning or disaster preparation to enrich skills and build resilience.

FXB provides an ongoing coaching and mentoring activity throughout the three-year program to ensure that participants develop their confidence and empowerment and acquire the economic and social skills necessary to successfully move out of extreme poverty. A fourth year focused exclusively on mentoring helps to consolidate the results achieved at the end of the formal implementation of activities in this fragile country.

Program 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.

Testimonial

My name is Rose and I have six children. Before our participation in the FXBVillage program, we lived very precariously in Buterere. My husband and I weren't able to provide for the needs of our family.

Rose