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.

Hafasa Aubi, an Afghan economics graduate, is defying the country's trend of women’s unemployment. Working as an mHawala (mobile money) agent for Etisalat, a telecommunications company, Aubi is paving the way for other women seeking employment. As an electronic payment system, mHawala allows Afghans to pay utility bills and transfer cash by cell phone.

Ahmad Wasim, a shopkeeper in Faizabad, a city in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, started selling an assortment of artificial flowers and decoration services for weddings and banquet halls in 2010. But his business was seasonal and barely earned enough money to support his family.

In addition to Afghanistan’s social, political and traditional problems, youth in rural Kandahar province, especially in districts far from the city, live in a state of despair, with a strong feeling of future uncertainty. Their major challenge is unemployment, resulting from high rates of illiteracy and lack of bankable skills.

Surrounded by almost 2,000 quacking ducks, Le Thanh Thuong reflects on the changes he has made on his duck breeding farm and hatchery in Can Tho, Vietnam. Previously, his ducks were free range—they drank water from a nearby pond and grazed on small fish and shrimp from rice paddies, which left them undernourished and susceptible to diseases like salmonella and parasites. Poor sanitation and insufficient separation between residential and production areas put his family and workers at risk for picking up diseases from the ducks.

It’s not easy standing up for gay rights in a country where the government and most citizens see nothing wrong with a Facebook campaign that incites violence against fellow citizens and “outs” certain women as the “five most wanted lesbians in Sarajevo.”

Julijana Tičinović and her husband Bernard filed their first complaint exposing the secret sale of public land in Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in early 2012. At first they fought “the system” alone: three legal venues, three dismissals. Then they approached USAID's anti-corruption network for help—and this time they won.

Suad Dzindo, the former director of public company Skenderija Center in Bosnia and Hergovina (BiH), has been indicted by a cantonal court in Sarajevo as a result of a whistleblower report by former company bookkeeper Visnja Marilovic.

Over the past four years, USAID has made great strides inside Kosovo’s classrooms: overhauling school curriculums, helping teachers get access to the resources they need, and even inspiring community-led initiatives to renovate hundreds of classrooms around the country to create better learning environments. But the work that USAID has for students after school hours might just have the longest lasting effect in the fledgling democracy.

In Guatemala, one out of every two children suffers from chronic malnutrition, leading to high levels of stunting and poor cognitive development. In the country’s rural, western highlands, however, indigenous women are beginning to empower their neighbors to grow and sell their own foods and prepare healthy, nutritious meals to improve the well-being of their families.

USAID and Catholic Relief Services have partnered to change behaviors related to health and nutrition a

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Last updated: February 27, 2015