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.

Through USAID’s Transition Initiatives for Stabilization project, more than 20 young Somalis captured the city’s rebirth with a photography project they named My Mogadishu. Youth used cameras to capture daily life: exchanging money at a street bureau, buying charcoal in a local market.

When Somaliland’s local council elections sparked protests in the winter of 2012-2013, government representatives, women and young people used the new Aynabo community hall to discuss conflict resolution.

“Somalis value dialogue. There is a famous saying: ‘To talk is to reconcile.’ This venue is providing a healthy space to resolve conflict. Issues arising from election-related tension were discussed,” said Aynabo elder Abokor Farah Ismail.

As legislation in Somaliland thrives through increased constituent and legislator dialogue, everyone can follow the progress on www.somalilandparliament.net. Since the launch of the website in early 2013, staff have seen a steadily growing stream of visitors to the site, according to the non-profit International Republican Institute, which implemented the project with assistance from USAID. The site is part of comprehensive USAID support to elections, parliament and government responsiveness across Somaliland.

Somalia's new parliament, formed in August 2012, provides for two chambers--the upper house, which is pending formation, and the lower house--or House of the People, the country's national legislative body. This house, currently with 275 members,  is taking shape as parliament has established new committees tasked with considering policy issues, scrutinizing the progress and expenditures of the government, and analyzing legislation.

11 APRIL 2013 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
 

Through USAID assistance, a new economic corridor is emerging in a formerly isolated and war-torn part of eastern Sri Lanka. The Kiran area was cut off from the outside world during Sri Lanka's nearly 30-year civil war between the government and Tamil rebels, and its population today is largely unskilled with limited livelihood opportunities.

Following the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti received monetary and material donations from several countries to support its recovery and rebuilding process. When Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County (LVFC) from Warrenton, Va., donated and installed computer labs throughout Haiti, the group faced one major hurdle: Haitian teachers and computer lab managers were not familiar with the computers' Linux-Mint operating system.

10 APRIL 2013 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
 
Afghan women face frequent discrimination, and under Afghan culture, it is more acceptable for women to express their grievances to female, rather than male, judges. Yet only around ten percent of the Afghan judiciary is female. More women judges could mean more access to justice for all women.
 
Today, Farida Yasmeen, 45, is a leader for a group of 35 experienced embellishers who work from their own homes in Mingora, Swat Valley of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Province of Pakistan. She regularly checks the quality of their work, finds buyers, and receives orders for the entire group.  She credits her position to the assistance from USAID.
 
Before January 2012, Farida was a heartbroken woman. She had lost her husband in a suicide attack and later her two children died from diabetes.
 

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Last updated: January 07, 2014