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.

To help improve and protect the health of people living in the community of Thula, USAID sponsored the rehabilitation of the main cistern, the Jaadan Cistern. The plan to renovate the cistern carefully considered Thula’s historical and cultural importance; the renovators used mainly natural stone materials and a traditional method of plaster called qadad.

Al-Hussein Bin Ali School lies three kilometers north of Al-Qimah village in Amran, at the foot of Thula Mountain, Yemen. People in the village have lived in closely grouped houses since long before Hajj Al-Rowni was born. Al-Rowni is a 70-year-old Shiekh, and it was with his help that USAID brought change to the school.

“I never had the chance to go to school when I was a kid” says, Om Ali Abdullah, a 40-year-old Yemeni mother. “I don’t even know what a school looks like... my 15 year old daughter, Intisar, had to leave school after the third grade.

In the five months that Mohamed Ahmed Alawili and Hassan Al-Mogahed have been working with livestock extension agents from a USAID agricultural support program in Yemen’s Amran governorate, they have witnessed firsthand the benefits USAID is providing to farmers in the country.

The program is a USAID-funded initiative to enhance agricultural production and rural economic development in Yemen. By using the concentrated feed, mineral blocks, vaccinations and training the program provided, Mohamed and Hassan have seen the health and productivity of their sheep increase dramatically.

When Balagh Ahmed Abdullah first heard of the training the Hawa Charity Association for Women offered on weaving the traditional Yemeni “ma’awaz” (skirt-like garments worn by men), she felt as if the “sky had opened a window of mercy” for her and her family.

Balagh is one of the best trainees in the initial weaving training being sponsored by USAID. Unable to read or write, she is pleased to have the opportunity to learn a skill she can use to support her family, as Balagh’s husband is often unable to find work to support his small family.

Aminah Ghalib Mofhel has made good use of the veterinary training she received as part of a USAID-funded agricultural support program. The program aims to enhance livestock farming practices that increase production, market opportunities and employment in rural areas.

Organized by USAID in cooperation with the U.S. Army, the training provided skills in basic animal health care, hygiene, and appropriate animal husbandry techniques to 34 women from the five governorates where USAID is working.

What do you really expect a married woman from a traditional family in a West Bank remote village to aspire to - other than a housewife and a mother?” asks Abeer Rahhal, a 40-year-old mother of five. Rahhal lives in the Kafr Dan, a village in the Jenin Governorate, 132 kilometers north of Jerusalem.

USAID helps more than seventy local West Bank civic organizations survive, grow, and educate vast numbers of Palestinians - particularly marginalized groups like children, youth, women, and the poor - on human rights, the rule of law, and other aspects of democratic political systems.

Leaning forward to listen to young men crowded around a table, Hana Masoud confidently responds to their questions on volunteering. Her rapport with young people is a clue to how she mobilized Palestinian villagers to demand – and receive – quality health care.

Hana’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.”

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Last updated: January 03, 2014