Written by: Marina Zoullas, FXB Communications Intern, who traveled this summer to Colombia and interviewed families that participated in the FXB Village program.
As I arrive at Angela’s house, she opens the door with a big smile and gives me a hug. There are about five children around. They are all very clean and neat and excited to have a visitor. The house consists of a 10×10 room with a kitchen and sitting area. There is another small room in the back and a bathroom. Just like all of the other houses I have visited from the FXB village program, it is impeccable and very tidy. One of the five pillars of FXB Village is not only to help those in the program acquire or build a house, but also to teach them how to maintain proper hygiene in the house and in food preparation.
I sit down and Angela starts telling me her story. She was kidnapped and kept captive for months by the guerillas (rebel fighters). She was abused, raped and beaten while in captivity. She managed to run away and live as a desplazada (displaced person) for 10 years. “We lived in dangerous conditions,” she tells me with tears in her eyes. “I was mentally, physically and emotionally destroyed. My children and I lived in one room made up of cartons and we shared one plate of food for the whole day.” Her family was extremely malnourished and she was severely depressed. Her hair would fall out and she could barely get out of bed.
When FXB found her and her family, the first thing they did was take care of the malnutrition, especially for her baby. Little by little, FXB guided and supported Angela to her present state of financial self-sufficiency and emotional stability. They gave her the tools to take care of herself and her family , improving their health, emotional and financial well-being.
Right now, Angela has a very successful business as a hairdresser and has become an advocate for displaced families. She is also a liaison between the community and the local public officials. She told me she would love to give back to FXB and help assist and guide new FXB families.