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.

January 2018—Rising at the crack of dawn, getting to bed late at night, and in the hours in between, struggling to protect the only thing that fed her family and paid the bills—that is what Vesna Budnjar’s days used to look like.

A mother of two, Budnjar lives in Kalinovik, a Republika Srpska town in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) just 60 kilometers from Sarajevo—a town, she says, that has been long forgotten. For years now, she has been picking, drying and selling forest fruits—mushrooms and rosehips—to support herself and her family.

January 2018—Cakes and pastries have been Silvana Vidović’s passion since early childhood. When she was a little girl, she would sneak up, steal some dough from her mother’s bowl, and form it into all kinds of shapes for baking.

Vidović, who lives in the town of Livno in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), has faced some tough times. Her husband’s salary was once their only source of income, and they had four children to feed, clothe and put through school.

It was a good day when Ramatu*, a widowed mother in northeast Nigeria, first used an electronic voucher to purchase food: “I was so happy. I danced when I got home, telling my children and grandchildren that our days of hunger have gone."

Di dunia, 2,4 miliar orang tidak memiliki akses terhadap kamar mandi yang bersih dan aman. Di Indonesia, angka ini berarti satu dari tiga orang tidak memiliki akses ke toilet duduk, jamban atau sistem septik. Banyak orang masih buang air besar di tempat terbuka.

Despite the poverty and conflict around them, students grasp on to some sense of normalcy at the Baye Ag Mahaha school located in Mali’s Kidal region. In the northern regions of the country, many schools have been destroyed, closed or occupied by fighting factions. Kidal town recorded 264 students who had dropped out during the crisis. Their return to school motivates the entire community.

Vlada Republike Srbije napravila je velike korake u oblasti poštovanja prava pripadnika LGBTI populacije, što je najvidljivije bilo 2014. i 2015. godine kada je omogućila da se održe Parade ponosa. Te poslednje parade su protekle mirno, što je očigledna suprotnost u odnosu na prethodne godine tokom kojih je ovaj događaj uvek bio otkazivan zbog pretnji nasiljem. Iako su nedavno održane parade bile vrlo uspešne, još uvek postoje brojna nerešena pitanja.

Valjbona Ajeti je jedna od osoba sa najjačom voljom, entuziazmom I odlučnošću koje ćete ikada sresti. Ona živi sa svojom porodicom u Gornjoj Slatini – selu u opštini Vitina na Kosovu. Njena kompanija GRASEP – akronim koji se prevodi na „žene iz Gornje Slatine“ – ima 20 zaposlenih žena i proizvodi konzervirano povrće i turšiju, ali je njen glavni proizvod ajvar. poznati sos od crvenih paprika koji odlično ide sa svakom vrstom jela. 

Valbona Ajeti është një ndër njerëzit me më së shumti entuziazëm, vullnet dhe venosmëri që do të takoni ndonjëherë. Ajo jeton me familjen e saj në fshatin Sllatinë e Epërme – fshat ky në Komunën e Vitisë në Kosovë. Ndërmarrja e saj GRASEP – akronim për “Gratë e Sllatinës së Epërme” – ka 20 gra të punësuara dhe prodhon perime të prezervuara dhe turshi, mirëpo produkti kryesor i saj është ajvari, një salcë e famshme e prodhuar nga specat e kuq që shkon me çdo lloj ushqimi.

Nicola Onyango started her artisanal handmade jewelry company, Urban Artefacts, in 2015. She stocks four shops in Nairobi with her designs. Her employees expertly buff every piece to ensure quality and longevity. She’s building a brand of well-made, contemporary jewelry with materials indigenous to East Africa and has now entered the U.S. market.

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Last updated: January 17, 2018