Fighting two villains: Poverty and AIDS - NGO FXB India Suraksha chooses most poor families for three years; funds their basic needs
Fighting two villains: Poverty and AIDS
NGO FXB India Suraksha chooses most poor families for three years; funds their basic needs
A Long affair with India :FXB founder Countess Albina du Boisrouvray elaborating on her vision during an interview in New Delhi on Wednesday.
NEW DELHI: Linking a public health paradigm with human rights, Albina du Boisrouvray, founder of non-governmental organisation FXB India Suraksha, has set up a sustainable and community-based solution to fight poverty and AIDS through the FXB-Village network.
The NGO is dedicated to working for vulnerable children, especially those infected and affected by AIDS and poverty.
FXB is an acronym for François-Xavier Bagnoud, the son of Ms. Boisrouvray, who was a rescue worker and died during a helicopter rescue operation. FXB International is the umbrella organisation for FXB entities worldwide
“I had many lives,” she says with a smile. “But I was always concerned with being involved with things to do with change. I have always wished in life to do something to change humbly something that was dysfunctional.”
“In the FXB-Village model, 80-100 families are chosen for three years. These families are the poorest, the most hard-working, and have many children. We take care of all their needs in the first year such as food, education, health care, sanitation training, psycho-social counselling and empowerment of women,” says Ms. Boisrouvray, who has been associated with India for 25 years.
However, the three-year programme is not about lending money or giving out money, she says emphatically: “It is about funding the extreme poverty of people, funding their basic needs till they can take on through their income generating activity and provide for themselves.”
The FXB founder took inspiration from Dr. Jonathan Mann's public health paradigm which laid emphasis on the inextricability of public health and human rights to fight AIDS and she added the dimension of income generating activity so that people could take care of themselves.
FXB villages were set up in West Bengal , Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur for three years and the programme has recently concluded. In a fresh cycle, these villages have now been set up in Andhra Pradesh, on the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry border and Manipur.
“We implemented this model in Africa with great success,” says Ms. Boisrouvray. “In India the women are less confident which is understandable given the history and cultures. Moreover there is reliance on assistance and aid and a fear of becoming independent and autonomous.”
She admits that India has been the most challenging country to work in. “When I came here 25 years ago, I did not know anyone. There is bureaucracy at every level, State and Central. A different culture prevails here and one must know how to work with it. Funding too has been an issue here.”
“Strangely I feel at home here!” remarks Ms. Boisrouvray, elaborating on her fascination for Indian philosophy, culture, literature, democracy and diversity.
About her vision for FXB India Suraksha, she says: “We have been sustaining this for some time now mostly with money from outside. Money should be generated here too. I would like to see partnerships not only with the government, but larger Indian involvement to set up more FXB villages to show that it works in all settings in India . I want it to be taken up as a political strategy of poverty eradication.”
In 1992, Ms. Boisrouvray established the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Date:03/03/2011 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2011/03/03/stories/2011030361440200.htm
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