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.
When Palestinian students graduate, they can be proud in the knowledge that they have completed their formal studies in a system of education recognized throughout the Middle East for its high quality. But when the graduation celebrations are over, Palestinian students face the same question that students all around the world face: What can I do now?
Jenin Young Women’s Club (JYWC) is providing new opportunities of growth and personal development for girls and young women of Jenin through a safe and enriching environment for extra-curricular activities. A $76,610 grant from USAID's Civic Engagement Program helped the club acquire better equipment and resources including the first gym for women and a computer lab which is now being used to teach the club’s members new computer science skills.
Most notably, the grant funded the creation of the club’s all women football team, still not a common phenomenon in the Northern West Bank. This ambitious group of young women now participates in the Palestinian Women’s Football League and is supported by the Palestinian Football Federation.
Hana Masoud’s life changed when she joined a USAID health development initiative in her village. Once a jobless graduate, she has grown into an internationally-recognized youth leader. “I learned that each person has something to give,” she says, “and it was my duty to look for these things in the community.” Her chance came when USAID began working in Burqa, a northern West Bank village. Using the Champion Community approach, USAID brings together Palestinians and their clinics to identify and address local health priorities. Hana’s job was to encourage residents to join in.
As a teacher in rural Kenya, Dr. Nduku Kilonzo never thought she would become involved in women's health, gender issues, and HIV. However, it was during her time as an educator in the 1990s when she began to realize disparities that threatened the health and well-being of her female students. “Women were looking after the sick or couldn't afford to send their daughters to school because they were spending money on health care,” she recalls.
When Erline in Madagascar became pregnant with her first child, her family preferred that she give birth at home because it was less expensive than visiting a health center. After all, a traditional birth attendant typically charges $5—about an average week’s pay—while a birth at a facility would require transport, food and medicine costs, and cost three to four times that amount. However, a visit from a USAID-trained community health worker helped Erline and her family understand the risks of giving birth outside a health facility. And ultimately, when they considered the health of Erline and her baby, they chose the safer option.
Last updated: December 13, 2013