Transforming Lives

Every day, all over the world, USAID brings peace to those who endure violence, health to those who struggle with sickness, and prosperity to those who live in poverty. It is these individuals — these uncounted thousands of lives — that are the true measure of USAID’s successes and the true face of USAID's programs.

Where do you start when you’ve lost everything you own? What should you replace first—and how?

Nasima’s* life changed after she learned how to sew for a living. The vocational training meant that she could stay home and work, while keeping an eye on her sick husband as well. And her daughter could return to school. Until then, Nasima had to keep the child home while she went out to work as a cleaner.

Afghanistan’s centuries-old carpet industry is looking ahead to a good year for exports with seven carpetmakers signing deals worth millions with buyers from the United States, Turkey and Europe.

Amidst a backdrop of fighting, displacement and hunger, thousands of Somalis are working to overcome the challenges they face and take their future well-being into their own hands. 

In June 2014, USAID granted $350,000 to UNICEF to implement a project providing access to safe water for the people in the region where USAID is also investing in health care improvement. This USAID water project targets four rural communes: Milenaky, Belalanda, Fotadrevo and Ehara.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, women constitute a mere 23 percent of members of parliament, falling seven percent short of the mandated quota for women on electoral lists. While political parties do manage to meet the 30 percent minimum quota for their candidate lists, women are often placed in either unlikely positions for election, or party lists are changed after the elections have taken place, ensuring that fewer women are elected.

 

In early 2014, the USAID Reading Together Project developed the National Basic Reading Requirements. In April 2014, USAID conducted an Elementary Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) in 130 schools in the Kyrgyz Republic. EGRA results showed that only 26% of teachers use effective and innovative methods of teaching reading. It was also found that only 10% of Grade 1 & 2 students and 1% in Grade 4 meet the country’s National Basic Reading Requirements. These findings are troubling, particularly because poor reading skills negatively influence student success in all other school subjects and considerably limit their ability to obtain new knowledge.

Joy*, 49, lived a basic, comfortable life in the remote, rolling hills of Ormoc City in the central Philippine islands. She and her husband made coconut wine and sold two barrels a week to support their family.

Fisheries help fuel the Philippine economy. The country ranks eighth globally in fish production, but overfishing caused the fish population to decrease by 90 percent in the last five decades. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Filipino fishers live below the poverty line. Poor and vulnerable, feeding their families is a daily trial.

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Last updated: March 18, 2015