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.

Until recently, about half of all Ukrainians requiring medicine to treat various ailments refused or postponed treatment because they could not afford the cost of the prescriptions. While Ukraine’s Constitution guarantees free medical services, pharmaceuticals are not included, and most citizens pay out of pocket.

Fifty-two-year-old Milton Stewart beams with joy as he takes his place behind the steering wheel. As one of the official drivers for the Ministry of Health within the western division of Jamaica, Stewart has operated many vehicles during his 30-year career, including trucks, buses and ambulances. Few assignments, however, are as meaningful to him as the job he now has.

Djibouti—a small, desert-like country in East Africa—is home to fewer than 1 million people and chronically food insecure. Currently a haven to 27,000 refugees who have fled violence and insecurity in their own countries, the strain on resources is more pronounced as the country struggles to feed everyone in need.

Seven-year-old Malak* could barely write her own name in Arabic last year. She has already had to repeat first grade before moving on to second at her elementary school in Morocco’s small coastal town of Temara. According to her mother Naima, Malak struggles with a learning disability.

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.

“When I talk about my past I get really sad,” says 19-year-old mother of two Shameka Campbell as the tears run down her cheeks. She recalls how, at the age of 10, her mother died and she had no father to care for her. Left alone, she was handed off to family members and friends.

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Last updated: February 21, 2018