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.

Santa Rosa City, located close to Metro Manila, was in the headlines in 2009 because of the high number of H1N1 flu cases: 37, including 1 fatality. The city also registered high incidence of diarrhea among children under 5. Because of this, the city government decided to implement a campaign to promote the practice of handwashing, which has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhea by more than 45 percent. The USAID Philippine Sanitation Alliance assisted the city in developing the campaign using the USAID 10-Step Promotion Toolkit to improve hygiene and sanitation as a guide.

Afghanistan’s field guide on diseases common amongst wild animals has been welcomed as a useful portable reference for veterinarians, biologists, game guards and forestry workers.

Emergency road repairs continue apace in Kabul, months after its harshest winter in 20 years but their ongoing significance goes much beyond a smoother ride for residents of the Afghan capital. The road works are a shining example of the partnership between Kabul Municipality and the international donor community. The teamwork has been brought about by the USAID-funded Kabul City Initiative (KCI).

The new high-tech food laboratory recently established in Jalalabad  is a boon to traders importing food items through the Torkham border crossing. USAID-funded lab provides test results within 24 hours, thus helping Afghan traders and producers run their businesses more efficiently.

Hundreds of skilled Afghan craftsmen have helped bring an historic, 300-year-old garden in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital vibrantly to life. Baghe Qazi or Judges Garden, which once sprawled green and verdant across 3.5 hectares in the older part of Kabul, suffered badly during the conflict of the early 1990s. The garden celebrates the contribution to public life of a prominent Herat judge, Qazi Fayzollah Khan Dawlatshahi. The Qazi, who tutored Prince Timur before he became king, moved with the court to Kabul when Timur Shah shifted his capital from Kandahar. The Qazi went on to become one of the King’s most trusted advisers.

Women in rural Liberia are often unaware that Liberian divorce law grants them the right to half of all property amassed during marriage. Even if they know about the law, many women are deterred by the high costs and social stigma associated with taking a case to formal courts. With support from USAID, the Carter Center and Catholic Justice and Peace Commission now support 45 community legal advisors in seven counties around Liberia. Approximately half of all cases involve female clients. Through this program, USAID is helping to make the rule of law a reality for ordinary Liberians, often for the first time.

In a small village in southeastern Madagascar, a group of 20 single women are working together to increase their incomes and their independence. For the past two years, they have benefited from a USAID program to improve food security and nutrition among nearly 100,000 vulnerable households.

As the world marks United Nations Population Day, which emphasizes the right to reproductive health for everyone everywhere, Pashtana, an illiterate mother of seven, may be living proof that Afghanistan’s past is no longer the future of its women.Her first child, 20 years ago, was stillborn and the ordeal began miserably – and predictably enough – at home in Charbagh, in the eastern province of Laghman. Her youngest child, who is three, was delivered in ease and comfort at a Charbagh clinic, which monitored the health of mother and fetus at regular three-month intervals.

Amarjon Abdusamadov stands poised with scissors in hand ready to take on his next customer. One month into his training, he exudes confidence but works with a careful hand. His barber’s coat belies his young age of 18. “I had just graduated from high school and needed a job to help my family,” says Abdusamadov. “There are six people in my family and my older brother is the only one with a job. He is working in Russia.”

Pages

Last updated: January 20, 2015