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.

“The road was in terrible condition and I couldn’t get to the bazaar without falling over,” recalls Abdul Malik. He is wheelchair-bound – the result of an insurgent bomb attack four years ago – and until recently, he found it hard to make his way from home to the tiny shop he rents in Arghandab in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar.
When Abdul Ahmad left Pakistan for Afghanistan it symbolized more than one man’s decision to come home. It marked the return of a generation of farmers who had left Tani district in the eastern province of Khost because their lands were too dry for crops to grow. “For years I worked in Pakistan because we had no water for our farmland. We are all farmers in my village,” says Abdul Ahmad.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 13, 2012, Somali youth sprinted across Hargeisa, taking part in the Hargeisa Youth Amazing Race. The contest raised awareness about youth-related services and youth-managed businesses across Hargeisa.

Muna Mohamed, a competitor and biomedical student at the University of Hargeisa, expressed what appeared to be the prevailing sentiment: “I am so excited. I am very thrilled.”

Fatumo Jama Ahmed is a 30-year-old mother of two who lives in Berbera, Somaliland.

Ahmed did not go to school when she was young because, like many Somali girls, she was kept at home. Now, however, she is attending a USAID-supported basic education class, her son by her side.

“I have been studying at this center for one month,” she says. “I am now a completely different person … . I can write my name, I can write and read the Somali numbers and alphabets. After a few months I hope to be fully writing and reading and calculating.”

Lack of access to irrigation water has long been a source of tension in rural areas throughout the Kyrgyz Republic, particularly in southern regions. When inter-ethnic violence broke out in June 2010, competition for scarce natural resources became a flashpoint for conflict. 

“These [uranium tailing storage facilities] were built incorrectly. They don’t meet standards. Water leaks into our soil. We have been saying this, but inspectors keep repeating that everything is clean,” complained a Chatkal district resident to an Azattyk Television crew.  “In reality, the soil is polluted.”

“My old man was shot, I was injured, and our house was robbed and destroyed. I applied for housing back then, but I am still being promised things [two years later],” says Rahminisa Teshebaeva, a 75-year old resident of Osh, in an interview to Radio Azattyk aired on July 26, 2012.

Afghanistan is not so different from the rest of the world. Wherever you go, sports bring people together, encouraging community participation and creating lifelong friendships.
For a long time these gatherings have been rare due to security and economic concerns, but now they are common again.
Ensuring that citizens have a strong understanding of their rights and have access to adequate legal resources is one of the most important responsibilities of any legal system. Enter the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA).
With support from USAID, AIBA opened its first regional sub-office in Balkh Province in late 2012. The Balkh location is the first of four sub-offices to be opened. Other locations will include Kandahar, Herat, and Nangarhar.


Last updated: August 18, 2014