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.
In 2008, francophone Rwanda instituted an audacious education policy to support its development goals. The government purported that shifting from French to English was key to regional and global business and trade, as was joining the anglophone East African Community and the Commonwealth of Nations.
The year 2013 marked a number of achievements in Rwanda. First, the national airline announced its first female pilot. Then the World Bank ranked Rwanda as the third easiest economy to do business with in sub-Saharan Africa. The country is on a positive path.
These achievements would not have been possible without individuals with lightning-quick problem-solving, logic, and intelligent decision-making skills—all developed through mathematics, which begins in primary school.
New, wild forest seedlings are finally seeing the light again in Rwanda's Nyungwe National Park. They are slowly taking back areas previously covered with a layer of opportunistic ferns. After a wildfire, the forest soil is quickly colonized by a thick, persistent layer of ferns, which thrive in disturbed areas. The ferns dominate, impeding the ability of other wild species to germinate.
Diogène*, 37, lives in Rwanda’s Eastern province. In March 2012, he began to feel ill. He was short of breath, couldn’t walk up hills, and had chest pains. Luckily for Diogène, he holds community-based health insurance (CBHI), which enabled him to see a doctor at the Ngarama district hospital, where he was diagnosed with heart disease.
Jean Ndayishimiye, 21, lives in Rwanda’s Kirehe district, where he bought a piece of land in 2012. He soon found out that Jean Marie Vianney Nteziryayo, 27, had purchased a piece next to his. Each was interested in increasing the size of their plot, but the only way to do so was to expand into the plot of the other. Both wanting to maintain the full piece of land they’d purchased, a dangerous feud was sparked between the neighbors.
The Middle East and North Africa face their own baby boom. More than half of the region’s population is under the age of 24, and more than one-quarter of its young people are unemployed.
The Arab baby boom is both an opportunity and a challenge. USAID invests in young people so they have the skills, knowledge and attitude to succeed in today’s society.
Building trust and leadership among Burma’s nascent civil society is key to a lasting, peaceful transition. But after decades of repression and division, those leading Burma’s reforms often face personal and professional obstacles affecting their ability to bridge gaps and forge alliances.
To be effective advocates for peace, these civil society leaders need to better understand how personal perceptions can affect professional relationships, and how these relationships can steer Burma’s political reform.
Last updated: December 06, 2013