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.

“Women can be anything they want in life. They can be mayors and presidents, teachers and mothers … after all, they are the engine of society,” says Rawiya Sankari, a mother and a staff member in the Fayhaa Union of Municipalities in north Lebanon.

Like other women who come to USAID workshops, Rawiya believes societal change comes by breaking stereotypes and challenging the routine.

“Green jobs” is a phrase that can be used to build wealth, win votes or influence agendas. In the developing world, such jobs can be a path out of poverty.

Pema is a young Tibetan girl who moved with her family to Chengdu, in Sichuan Province. Like many other Tibetans in China who leave their home towns and villages to go to cities for work and education, her parents brought her along to keep the family together. And like other parents, Pema’s father and mother wanted her to have exposure to her mother language and culture. But there are few prospects in large urban areas for the younger generation of Tibetans to learn about their heritage.

In many parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Spring has led citizens to re-examine their relationship with their government, as well as their ability to access information about its activities. A new generation of young journalists, bloggers and cyber-activists are using technology—particularly social media—to demand transparency and accountability from their governments and political representatives.

April 2014"My daughter was born as a pretty baby,” said the mother of 38-year-old Pham Thi Gai, “but now, [she] lives in disability and tears.” Polio struck during childhood, leaving Gai with paralyzed limbs on the left side of her body. The years that followed were difficult as Gai and her mother attempted to make a living in the coastal area of Son Tra district in Danang.

April 2014Nguyen Thi Thuy owns a small poultry slaughtering facility in the central province of Quang Tri. The 45-year-old woman recalls a time when her family did the poultry slaughtering in poor and unhygienic conditions. The slaughtering area was small and dark, without adequate light and water and was located within the family’s living area. The slaughtering was performed on the floor with no safety practices. For 15 years, the facility operated under the poor conditions.

In response to a rise in cases of anthrax in northern Tajikistan, Panjakent youth from the USAID-supported Young Leaders Program assisted their communities by educating citizens about the anthrax threat and what steps to take to protect themselves and their families. 

Hamid* lights up as he talks about his ambitions for a better and brighter future. “My parents value education more than anything for us. It is only through education that one can become what they want with dignity and pride,” said the 16-year-old. More parents in his community are dreaming big for their children, which would not be possible without the support of USAID.

April 2014Veronique Diawara, 26, lives in the small town of Kita, just three hours away from the capital city of Bamako in Mali. An obstetric nurse, she has been working at her local community health center for three years. Diawara attends many deliveries on a daily basis, sometimes facing complications that put the mother’s health and/or life at risk. One of the dangers she faces is postpartum hemorrhage, or the loss of more than 550 milliliters of blood after delivery. 

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Last updated: April 15, 2014