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From a life of poverty to becoming head of the colline – Césarie’s story, FXBVillage Burundi

A widow, Césarie looks after five children.

Before FXB’s involvement, she was living in extreme poverty. Her children were not eating three meals a day due to lack of money. They had no access to health care and were unable to go to school. Césarie did minor agricultural work for her neighbours, the revenue from which did not enable her to meet the whole family’s needs. She was overwhelmed by events, but accepted her fate. For her, this was normal, and all widows lived in these conditions.

In July 2013, Césarie’s family was chosen to take part in the Buterere I FXBVillage program. She received comprehensive support in the fields of nutrition, health, education, housing and economic strengthening.

Since then, Césarie’s life has changed. She has become a dynamic woman, enthusiastic and resourceful. She can feed her children enough food and give them a varied and balanced diet. They now go to school and lead a normal child’s life, surrounded by their peers.

Thanks to the education and training she received, Césarie quickly understood that she was going to play an active development role alongside many other women.

She began to sell vegetables and to grow rice, which she also sells to a cooperative that processes it using a specific de-husking machine made available by FXB.

Alongside this, she has diversified her income streams by launching a goat-rearing business, which brings her up to 300,000 Burundian francs per quarter.

With her savings, Césarie has already renovated her previously unsanitary home, and pays for 25% of medical costs and school fees for her children. FXB will continue to pay a proportion of these costs for two years; time in which Césarie, like all the other participants in FXBVillage programs, will be able to lift herself above the poverty threshold and build a dignified life for herself.

Césarie is planning to build a new house on the plot she has just bought with her savings.

Césarie and her family were once isolated and stigmatised. Now she has an important role in the community, who elected her as head of the colline – a real leader! Césarie is no longer worried about her future, which looks very promising.

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