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.

22 OCTOBER 2012 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
 
Humira is a graduate of the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul and she now teaches at its calligraphy and miniature painting school. She says it’s a dream come true. “I joined the school because of my special interest in sustaining our traditional art, which is diminishing because of decades of war. Enrolling helped me learn the art of my passion.”
 
21 OCTOBER 2012 | GHAZNI, AFGHANISTAN
 
“We had no water— none. When the rains came, the water would get trapped in the canal sediment or flood the village,” recounts Mohammed Razik, a Qalatee elder. Located on the outskirts of the capital of Ghazni Province, Qalatee is a rural village of over 15,000 inhabitants who rely on agriculture and animal husbandry for sustenance and economic support.
 
16 OCTOBER 2012 | PARWAN, AFGHANISTAN

Farmer Abdul Wahid and 15 fellow vegetable and fruit farmers from the village of Bodikow, Parwan will sleep more soundly tonight with the assurance of a buyer at harvest. On July 18, 2012, these 16 farmers signed a mutually beneficial agreement with Boustan-e-Sabz, a large Afghan agricultural trading company. The contract gives farmers security to succeed in their business and the buyer a promise of high quality produce at the end of the season.

15 OCTOBER 2012 | HERAT, AFGHANISTAN
 
Mr. Ghulam Sarwar is a member of a business family from Herat City in Afghanistan who grew up learning the family trade of buying, drying, packing and exporting dried fruits and nuts.   In 2010 he decided to establish Hariwa Habibzadeh, his own company. Two years later he reached record sales of 40 metric tons of dried fruits and managed to introduce his brand into the Indian market with consumer-ready packages that comply with India’s grades and standards.
 
11 OCTOBER 2012 | ZABUL, AFGHANISTAN
 
10 OCTOBER 2012 | GHAZNI, AFGHANISTAN
 
More than 30 years of deforestation has severely damaged Ghazni agriculture. In the 1970s, most of Afghanistan’s 2.5 million hectares of forest grew in Ghazni and other provinces near the border with Pakistan. Today, nearly 90% of these forests have been lost.
 
8 OCTOBER 2012 | PAKTIKA, AFGHANISTAN
 
“I do not have enough money to bring water from the river to my farm, so my fields are dry,” says 52-year-old Haji Lal Khan. The sole supporter of a family of 13, Haji Khan has spent the better part of his adult life as a driver-for-hire, while considering himself a farmer.
 

For many children in the 40 new unregistered migrant settlements outside of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, access to school is restricted by poverty and a lack of legal residency. Mamasabyt Raiyimberdy uulu is one of these children. At 13, he was illiterate and had never attended school because he needed to work in the bazaar to make money for his family. To add to the meager wages his mother earned by selling bananas, Mamasabyt needed to earn about $4 per day, which he did by collecting and selling used boxes.

To reach out to kids like Mamasabyt, USAID has started providing small grants to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in these settlement areas. One of the 10 participating NGOs, the Councils for Human Rights, organized a two-month Summer Education Camp for 21 school dropouts from six new settlements around Bishkek. These camps aimed to provide access to a friendly learning environment for children from socially vulnerable families, as well as to create a positive environment for studying, playing sports, helping each other and making friends.

1 OCTOBER 2012 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
 
CHALLENGE Corrupt practices are strongly entrenched and widespread in Afghanistan, leaving substantial discretionary power to civil servants at all levels, making abuse of power and position commonplace, and reducing government’s legitimacy in the eyes of citizens. There are insufficient controls or enforcement to prevent or deter these corrupt practices that promote inequality and discourage foreign investment.
 

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Last updated: October 23, 2014