Today, nearly 1.2 billion people are living in extreme poverty in the world. While the World Bank defines extreme poverty as “average daily consumption of $1.25 or less,” people who live on the edge of subsistence actually face an intertwined variety of challenges that perpetuate the poverty they live in.
FXB believes that poverty is a multidimensional issue that needs a multidimensional solution. The poorest of the poor families not only lack sustainable income or enough food to eat, but their poverty prevents them from accessing critical resources they need to survive and thrive.
They are unable to prevent and treat illness, and their health conditions usually prevent them from working to support their families. Their livelihood and housing are unstable, and access to clean water seems unattainable to them. They are mostly illiterate, and some of them are not even able to count money or keep track of their income and expenses. Even if they do want to start their businesses, the existing financial exclusion would deny them financial services at affordable costs.
Without outside support, the chances of overcoming the significant hardships they face are very slim. Poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and stigma are interlinked and form a vicious circle that is very hard to break. Just as it says at the beginning of our FXBVillage Toolkit and Planning Guide, “What is the purpose of building a health clinic if sick people don’t have any access to safe drinking water at home? What is the point of operating a school if children have to learn on empty stomachs? Why should people cultivate a field if they cannot preserve and store the harvest or bring it to market for sale? How can one encourage the accumulation of savings without knowing how to manage it as well?”
FXB Founder and President Emerita Albina du Boisrouvray understood early on that providing access to opportunity in isolation is an insufficient solution for communities in extreme poverty, and that the only true way to break the cycle of extreme poverty is through a holistic model.
We don’t give people microloans. We give them grants, because microcredit is not the cure for extreme poverty. The high interest rate can easily crush financially vulnerable families. We don’t just hand people money, because money comes and goes. We hand them a multidimensional solution to extreme poverty.
That’s why our FXBVillage Model, a sustainable and community-based solution to extreme poverty, delivers the five drivers of poverty eradication in an integrated way, including nutrition, healthcare, housing, education, and income.
The FXBVillage Model provides participants with immediate access to the full range of critical resources simultaneously: food, health, education, housing, employment, safe drinking water and a healthy environment. Then, it coaches families to set up businesses, allowing them to take responsibility for their own future income by enabling them to pay for their needs once FXB support has been withdrawn. Additionally, FXB tailors its FXBVillage program to address the diverse social, cultural, economic, geographic and political dimensions of each country where the program is active. The simultaneous linkages of these resources are essential for long-term success as participants begin the process of overcoming poverty.
Since program participants are required to increasingly contribute to their families’ school and medical costs, the FXBVillage Model is remarkably low-cost. On average, a three-year FXBVillage program only costs $140 per person per year. $5 can provide one person with two weeks of FXBVillage program support. The Model is also very cost-effective. 86% of participating families are self-sufficient by the end of the three-year program.
To support more people out of extreme poverty, we need your help. Please make a donation to FXB USA today! Let’s make a difference to the world.