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.

Kyrgyzstan's June 2010 constitutional referendum, which came only weeks after violent political change and interethnic violence, was intended to increase government accountability and transparency, and increase citizen participation in initiating and discussing draft laws with the newly formed parliament. By the following year, however, 77 percent of the population still did not understand how to work with the parliament, according to a 2011 survey by the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society.

In December 2011, government ministries across Kyrgyzstan were directed to develop and report publicly on their plans to address corruption, part of a new government strategy (State Strategy against Corruption and Implementation Plan for 2012-2014) to expose government corruption and increase accountability through regular and open public forums. 

Kyrgyzstan's Adilet Legal Clinic is bringing justice to those who may not otherwise have recourse.

In July 2011, Zorakhan Rozieva, an ethnic Uzbek resident of Kara-Suu rayon in Osh oblast, won a court case against a local energy company that fined her 30,000 Kyrgyzstani Som (approximately $620) for non-payment of electricity. According to her lawyers, provided through local NGO Adilet, the company sent bills to Rozieva while she was out of town. Court hearings revealed that the company had issued bills without reading the meter. 

A glut of wine has provoked a crisis in the heart of Kosovo’s grape-growing region. Here, each fall, vineyard owners leave to rot thousands of tons of unsold cabernet, merlot and other wine grapes. Meanwhile, this impoverished country in southeastern Europe imports 30 percent of the table grapes it consumes.

The mismatch between supply and demand shortchanges Kosovo’s farmers and adds to an already lopsided balance of trade. It also sparks occasional violence during protests organized by frustrated grape growers seeking government aid.

23 MAY 2013 | BALKH, AFGHANISTAN
 
Gul Alam and other job-seekers in the northern Afghan province of Balkh are learning how to cut stone and for Gul, more than anyone else, this professional skill promises to be a lifeline. The 24-year-old has a paralyzed leg and uses a crutch. “I cannot stand for long and I cannot carry loads,” he says, explaining why stone-cutting will mean the difference between abject poverty and moderate financial security.
 
22 MAY 2013 | GHAZNI, AFGHANISTAN
 

When the District Court of Makwanpur convicted three human traffickers in October 2012—sentencing them to 20 years in prison and a fine of 200,000 Nepalese rupees each ($2,256)—it created a nationwide stir and garnered wide media coverage. The successful conviction was a groundbreaking and unprecedented step in Nepal’s judicial and anti-human trafficking history, and provided a much needed ray of hope in the ongoing struggle to achieve justice for trafficking victims like Maya.

In Baku, Azerbaijan, a woman (name withheld to protect identity) recounted how she was deceived and entrapped with an offer of “good employment” in a neighboring country. Upon arrival at her new job, she was forced into prostitution for six months. Her first attempt to escape was unsuccessful, prompting her traffickers to punish her and force her to take drugs. On a second attempt to escape, she succeeded and managed to return to Azerbaijan, where a USAID-funded shelter for female victims of human trafficking helped her gradually recover from the traumatic ordeal.

Unemployed youth learn new trades, then launch small businesses with micro-loans

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Last updated: August 18, 2014