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Transforming Lives

Ali and Hussain Saberi, with Dari textbooks published by USAID.

Ali and Hussain Saberi arrived in England in August 2005 and started at John Bunyan Upper School in September. When Trish Wrightson, an English teacher at the school, first met them, they both spoke very little English. Through a translator, Wrightson learned that neither boy had any formal education. She realized that they needed to learn not just English, but other subjects like math and science as well. And, they needed to learn quickly — at age 16, Ali was in his last year of high school.

Afghan treasury officials met with executives from Financial Management Services in Washington, DC, to discuss cash management.

In 2003, the Afghan Ministry of Finance created the Offices of Cash and Debt Management (OCD) in an effort to improve its ability to manage donor assistance and administer taxes. Like most Afghan government agencies, the OCD is staffed with young university graduates who have general backgrounds in economics, statistics or information technology, but limited practical experience.

The newly formed Afghan Midwives Association meets at Kabul's Rabia Balkhi Hospital.

Afghanistan's maternal and child mortality rate is among the highest in the world, but the Taliban would not allow the training of new nurse-midwives. When the regime was ousted, only 537 skilled, trained nurse-midwives — kabilaha — remained in the country. USAID is working to triple that number and, at the same time, establish trained midwifery as a profession worthy of support and respect.

Afghan women prepare flatbreads at a bakery.

USAID provides Afghan women with the means to earn a living through 86 bakeries managed by widows that help feed the elderly, disabled,orphans and other destitute families bakeries. Employing 897 poor women, this program reached more than 176,000 Kabul residents in 2003 with a daily ration of fortified bread at a subsidized price.

Budding playwrights review their scripts at the USAID Writing for Radio Workshop in Kabul.

The boulani - a potato-filled pastry - is neither warm nor fresh, but the child can’t resist the treat. Flicking flies away, the vendor hands one to the little girl. Later, the child’s mother cautions her against eating food left uncovered for too long. A pregnant mother waits at home while her husband takes their son to be immunized. At the clinic, he learns immunization can protect his wife--and through her, the new baby.

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Last updated: December 30, 2014

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