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.

Haiti faces many challenges—some of the most serious being unemployment and waste management. For the latter, the growing piles of plastic, tin, aluminum, cardboard, Styrofoam and other trash pollute and diminish the natural beauty of the country's landscape.

The youth of Kosovo, including activists with political party forums, are using social media more frequently for their campaigns. Stepping further away from traditional media, their aim is to raise awareness about issues using networks like Facebook, Twitter and other forums to create community pages with photography, logos and visuals.

Active citizens are at the core of a vibrant democracy. With USAID support, municipalities are directly engaging with citizens in decision-making processes. Holding public hearings during municipal budget development is one of the main ways officials are incorporating citizen input in a meaningful way.

Instead of illegal landfills, citizens of Klokot/Kllokot in Kosovo enjoy green spaces, playgrounds and a cleaner river as a result of USAID assistance.

“I still don’t fully accept my status,” says Vivian Achieng, 27, as she waits to fulfill her antiretroviral prescription at Kenya's HIV Patient Support Center in Kisumu. She found out she was HIV-positive four years ago, in 2009.

Many Kenyans seek treatment far away from their homes to escape the stigma that can be associated with being HIV-positive, and when they arrive in Kisumu, they are not disappointed. The center dispenses antiretroviral drugs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Bibi Gol emerged from the two-day workshop in Baghdis, northwestern Afghanistan, a changed woman. “Before, I did not know about women’s right to education or my right to participate in elections,” she explained, describing the subjects discussed at the workshop on women’s rights in Islam.

When municipal officials from across northern Afghanistan gathered in Mazar-e-Sharif to discuss their work, it was more than just another talking shop.

Sayed Sakandar’s 70 apricot trees offer more than the promise of an abundant harvest. They symbolize the slow but steady success of attempts to persuade Afghan farmers that there are viable alternatives to opium poppies.

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, may seem an unlikely time of year to undertake major public works in Afghanistan. Many Afghans go from dawn to dusk without any food or drink, or so much as a sip of water. But in Arab Kheil village in Maydan Wardak province, 30 men from four villages gather day after day for a crucial repair job.


Last updated: January 16, 2015