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.

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.

Nehayet Abbasova, a secondary school teacher from the Shamkir region in Azerbaijan, had long sought the chance to attend educational courses. Despite her aspirations, rural Azerbaijan lacks opportunities for intellectually curious people to obtain new skills or gain practical knowledge.

A 2014 Russian trade embargo on Moldovan fruits has become a catalyst for the latter country to reorient exports to new markets. For a whole day in February, the hot economic news in Moldova was the country’s initial shipment of apples to Bangladesh, the first time a Moldovan food product had found a market in that part of South Asia.

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.

Many citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic lack basic legal knowledge.  This question is especially acute in remote areas where there are few lawyers or legal advice services. As a result, citizens face a variety of challenges from registering their land and property rights to receiving basic identity documents such as passports and birth certificates. In some families this problem has been passed from generation to generation: if parents do not have passports, they cannot obtain birth certificates for their children, who later cannot receive passports of their own.  Another common issue is people who do not have official citizenship: many people still have Soviet Union passports, which are no longer valid, and thus they cannot access important basic services, receive state benefits or travel outside the country.

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Last updated: May 28, 2015