Poverty is complex. Rural families living just above the poverty line are largely reliant on agriculture for their food and income. As a result, they can easily fall back into poverty in the event of a family misfortune or disaster, which can make them extremely vulnerable. When they cannot earn enough to make ends meet every day, parents are unable to feed their families. A slight downturn in the economy or a failed rainy season, and they can easily slip into extreme hunger and poverty.
The Building Secure Livelihoods (BSL) project model provides a comprehensive pathway out of poverty for families to improve their livelihoods to levels that are productive and resilient enough to survive a range of shocks and stresses. The project model works particularly with rural households described as ‘marginally poor’ who have caring responsibilities for young children. We support them to improve their agricultural production and make a profitable farming venture to increase family income in a sustainable manner – moving them from surviving to thriving.
The project model uses a series of approaches to ensure households have economic and financial knowledge and support, and an understanding of risk and how to plan for the future. Families learn how to increase productivity, profitability, alongside sustainable management of all their resources (natural, social and economic.). Primarily though, WV empowers people to take control of their own future by dispelling the self-perception that the extreme poor are “dependent, uneducated and incapable of change.” We know that this mindset can severely limit aspirations, self-worth and future potential.
Core Components & Outcomes
- We establish and strengthen a savings culture, and financial inclusion through both savings groups and microfinance services.
- Our Empowered World View approach transforms mind-sets from dependence to empowerment and personal responsibility.
- Financial literacy education allows farmers and families to take control of their budgets and incomes.
- We promote sustainable Natural Resource Management, complemented by Climate Smart Agricultural training to support increases to sustainable agricultural production.
- We help families – and whole communities – to be more resilient with Community-Based Disaster Risk Management.
- We develop and encourage key partnerships for good agricultural practice, business skills, and access to financial services and markets.
- We promote development of Local Value Chains and Market Systems that work for the rural producers
Countries implementing Building Secure Livelihoods include:
Ghana, Honduras, Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia