What’s the purpose of building a health clinic if sick people don’t have safe drinking water at home? What‘s the point of operating a school if children have to learn on empty stomachs? These are the questions we asked ourselves when creating the FXBVillage model.
Considered radical when it first launched, the FXBVillage model was based on the Public Health Paradigm taught by the late Dr. Jonathan Mann of Harvard University that emphasized the inextricable link between health and human rights. FXB founder and president emerita Albina du Boisrouvray, who studied closely with Dr. Mann, turned his public health paradigm into a development paradigm for FXB by adding a key missing link for long-term sustainability: business.
With that addition, business development serves as one of the five key pillars of the FXBVillage model, which we also recognize as the five drivers of poverty: health, business, education, food and housing. With these five pillars, we aim to ensure that families don’t just survive, but thrive. For decades, we’ve used this model across the world with amazing results – 86% of FXB families remain self-sufficient four years after our program ends. Here’s how we do it.
Health isn’t just about medicine and doctor’s visits. It’s about hygiene, water and much more. One area where we’ve devoted a great deal of our resources is in HIV/AIDS prevention. Through education sessions on hygiene, sexual practices and pandemic response in conjunction with voluntary testing, we’ve made real progress. The FXBVillage program has been recognized by UNAIDS as a “best solution” to support children affected by AIDS.
Mental health is also a critical element of our approach to health. One of FXB’s core values is the confirmation of participants’ self-worth and human dignity. We do this by providing counseling sessions to help children deal with the loss of parents and help individuals cope with disease, mourning and domestic conflict.
In addition to providing Income Generating Activities, FXB provides access to financial services that families may otherwise not be able to access. FXB teaches families how to save income and create lasting financial stability. In the four FXBVillages in China, 97% of households had savings after three years, compared to one household before the start of the program.
Going beyond giving households access to basic health care facilities, FXB also creates sustainable eating habits in its FXBVillages through the implementation of kitchen gardens. In Bulenga, Uganda, kitchen gardens were effectively implemented in 100% of households after three years.
Unsanitary living conditions due to lack of clean water and unhygienic practices lead to illness and disease. This often prevents individuals from leading productive lives and children from pursuing an education. At FXB, we focus on providing access to clean water supplies and providing separate washing spaces in households.
The FXBVillage model identifies school-age children in each household we work with and provides support for their primary education. We also offer vocational training to adolescents and adults who did not have the opportunity to pursue an education.