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.

Christina Blurtsian is a 22-year old ethnic Armenian student passionate about the arts. She paints, sings, plays guitar and even makes costumes for one of the local theaters in Tbilisi.

Agriculture is Kosovo’s biggest industry, but the economic growth of the sector is constrained by a lack of equipment, a limited variety of crops, outdated methods of production, and smallhold farms. To overcome those challenges, USAID is introducing new crop varieties and supporting farmers in production, branding and marketing.

Since 2009, USAID has provided nearly 80 scholarships to aspiring journalists with the qualifications and drive, but not the means to attend the 12-month program, which combines classroom and field-based training in both print and electronic media. Media experts offer lessons and mentor students, who enjoy current affairs discussions and mingling with editors, on-air presenters and fellow students from different backgrounds.

With the end of the 26-year conflict in 2009, the need was clear for journalists to explore challenges faced by local communities. Working with a local organization—People’s Service Council—USAID helped 15 young women like Mela undertake media training from September 2010 to February 2011 in Trincomalee. As part of the six months journalism course and a three months IT and language course, young female “aspiring” journalists from different ethnic, religious and geographic backgrounds received training on language and computer skills, thus improving the quality and scope of their reporting skills.

Elizabeth Abuk, a married mother of four, recently rallied 500 farmers in South Sudan to form a cooperative that has improved the standard of living of the entire group and their families, some 3,500 people. By joining forces and establishing the Aweil Charity Community for Development, this group of impoverished farmers obtained seeds, material to build a storeroom for their harvest, and advice from state Ministry of Agriculture extension workers. 

A new  civic education film from the Youngstars Foundation asks Nigerians the question, “Aftercount, I Vote Wetin?” (“I Voted, Now What?”). The film, released in 2012, encourages Nigerian youth to stay involved in the political process between elections.

Youngstars Foundation is a Nigerian non-profit organization of youth for youths that has reached tens of thousands of youth across Nigeria through community presentations, a popular TV program and civic education films.

The USAID Agricultural Linkages Plus Project (AgLinks Plus) and its partners are leading efforts to transform the Uzbekistan fruit tree sector. Working with Uzbek researchers, commercial nurseries and farmers, this public-private partnership that began in 2011 is helping to turn the country's fruit orchards into tranquil oases.

An Uzbek horticultural exchange program initiated by USAID brought 38 farmers, agribusiness owners and employees, nursery owners, extension agents and government officials to California for four seasonal trips timed to coincide with the Uzbek and California 2012 cropping seasons. Each trip focused on a specific theme: pruning and trellising fruit trees and grapes, best nursery practices, best cold storage practices, and grape and raisin production best practices. In summer 2013, USAID will host the first program to bring Californian horticulturalists to Uzbekistan to reconnect with alumni and visit orchards, nurseries and cold storage facilities.

Mahym Muradova successfully and happily gave birth to her second child in May 2011 in Turkmenistan's Ene Myahri Maternity Hospital.

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Last updated: August 19, 2013