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.

Like other youth in her village, at 16, Adina Bazarbaeva assumed she would eventually go to Russia to find work when she finished school. “I didn’t think I had anything to contribute to society,” she recalls. “I wasn’t focused on developing myself, setting goals, and achieving success. My life was boring.”

Nurturing entrepreneurship is considered vital to the Kyrgyz Republic's economic growth, particularly among young people who possess the creativity and drive required, yet lack the essential knowledge to develop and pursue business ideas.

«После реализации нескольких волонтерских проектов я чувствую изменения в себе. Я стала более уверенной. Моя школа ценит мое мнение. Люди в селе знают и уважают меня... Я знаю, что могу сделать больше для своего сообщества, но для этого мне нужно дальше развивать себя, получить качественное образование и изучать языки. Из нерешительный девушки я превратилась в лидера не только волонтерского клуба, но и моей школы». - Адина Базарбаева

Rwanda has made great strides in expanding access to education. Enrollment is up, repetition and dropout rates are down, and more children are finishing primary school.

Thanks to Rwanda's award-winning Nine Year Basic Education program, six years of primary and three years of secondary education are free and compulsory for all Rwandans. What’s more, in January 2014, UNESCO placed Rwanda in the top three countries for reducing out-of-school youth.

Despite this accomplishment, absenteeism for girls remains a challenge.

July 2014—When you ask Judith Phiri, a Standard 3, or third grade, teacher about her students, she breaks into a beaming smile. Teaching her hearing impaired students how to read was an uphill battle for years. She lacked resources and was constantly searching for ways to help her students. But now, things have changed.

“At last,” she says, “I have been able to climb up the mountain and get a glimpse of the mountain view.” Fittingly, Mountain View is the name of the school for the deaf where she teaches in Thyolo district in southern Malawi.

July 2014—In the rural outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi, a 9-year-old boy named Jofati Levison stands in front of a wall with giant letters written across it. David Kaphikire, a parent from the same village, stands next to him. A crowd gathers as Jofati takes a breath and begins to speak in a loud, clear voice.

June 2014—A new opportunity for Kosovo’s farmers has sent up its first tender green shoots, only to see them quickly harvested, cooled, packaged and sold to an enthusiastic public.

Kosovo produced its first asparagus crop in 2014, marking the culmination of a three-year effort by USAID to introduce cultivation of the spring delicacy.

During this debut eight-week season, 11 local growers sold more than 2 tons of asparagus spears. The growers cooperatively marketed the asparagus under the brand name Viridis, which is Latin for young, green and fresh.

June 2014—While Rwanda has made dramatic progress in decreasing child mortality, chronic malnutrition remains high among children under the age of 5. This hurts not only the economy, but also the welfare of the young. Some people are standing up against the odds, however, taking on the fight against malnutrition.

One such person is Verdiane Mushimiyimana, 41, who lives in a rural district about two hours outside of Kigali, the capital.

June 2014—On a sunny Monday afternoon, dozens of children have gathered just outside the small village of Mbeti, Malawi. One group sits in a circle, reading a story about a hippo and a hare. Another group practices syllables out loud: “dwa, dwe, dwi.” Another plays an educational version of hopscotch, calling out names of letters written in each square.

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Last updated: August 26, 2014