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.

In October 2012, a dozen ONE Moms visited Ethiopia. During their visit, the moms visited many sites including farms, schools and health clinics sponsored by a number of governmental, international and non profit organizations that are having a transformational impact on the lives of  women, their families and their communities.  

Most Americans have plenty of water to drink, bathe and flush the toilet, wash clothes and cars, water the lawn and fill the community pool. Even when tap water is safe to drink we often buy bottled water. Competition for oil, alternatives to fossil fuel, and the price of gasoline may be foremost on our mind. But competition for water may in fact be a greater challenge in the 21st century. As developing nations turn to hydro and solar power to fuel their energy and electric power needs, water will be the “new oil” for many nations around the world.

With the click of a mouse, the final versions of maps outlining conservation areas have set the precedent for a new kind of land management in Ethiopia. The maps show authorized land use for six Community Conservation Areas (CCAs) in Ethiopia’s Central and Southern Rift Valley— the first such areas to be officially recognized by the state. The final keystroke capped more than five years of work by the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Alliance, a U.S. Agency for International Development-supported program implemented by Counterpart International. The alliance aims to enhance biodiversity conservation and economic development through sustainable tourism, community mobilization and improved livelihoods throughout the region.

Abdul Ahmad, 15, was in a car with a friend when they were stopped at a police checkpoint. The police arrested them thinking they belonged to the Taliban. Though Abdul continued to insist he never had any dealings with the Taliban, he was sent to a crowded juvenile detention facility in Kandahar City

Youth belonging to the various tribes of Paktika province in south-eastern Afghanistan participated in a soccer tournament facilitated by USAID’s Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative-East project. The three-day event was organized to engage youth vulnerable to indoctrination by anti-government elements. According to the United Nations’ National Joint Youth Program, 68% of the Afghan population is under 25 years old.

“Women don’t have many places to socialize,” says Sharifa Azimi, Director of Faryab Women’s Affairs. “The only place for women to socialize is when some women gather in the cemeteries on Wednesdays to pray,” she added.

Governors of three volatile districts along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan visited the most remote areas and spoke to local communities about  their concerns. The governors’ visit to Khas Kunar, Marawara and Sarkani in Kunar province in the northeast of the country is part of an initiative by USAID’s Office of Transtion Initiatives. USAID launched the Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative-East (ASI-East) project in 2009 to support government in volatile regions where communities are vulnerable to indoctrination by anti-government elements. 

In Afghanistan, where 80 percent of the workforce is engaged in farming, agricultural training is vital. But how do you teach the latest horticultural techniques in a country where farmers are scattered and transportation is difficult?

Season Honey, a company based in Nangarhar province, prides itself on supplying 100 percent pure, high quality honey, while providing earning opportunities to hundreds of rural households. While still a modest operation, Season Honey now competes in quality and price with Indian, Iranian and Turkish companies, which also supply the Afghan market. 


Last updated: January 20, 2015