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.

For the first time in a generation, thousands of young people across Panjshir are learning the tools that will enable them to join the workforce in the global village. Three-thousand students, including 900 girls, study English, computer skills, math, physics, chemistry and biology at educational centers in the Shutul, Rukha, Hesa Awal, Dara, Anaba, and Paryan districts.

In northern Afghanistan, change can sound a little like this: “Previously, I was opposed to female education, I thought that it was unlawful, not in accordance to Islam and the holy Quran. After watching the TV shows on Friday nights through Arzu TV, I realized that in a democratic environment, both women and men have equal  rights  and  according  to  Islam.”

With a 5,500-kilometer border that often snakes through remote and volatile territory, Afghanistan faces the challenge of in-creasing trade with neighboring countries while preventing illicit activities such as drug trafficking. A partnership between the country’s two key border agencies at the busy hub of Hairatan in northern Afghanistan is serving as a model for border man-agement that contributes to a thriving licit economy.

With Afghanistan home to valuable natural resources such as gas, minerals, gems and marble, journalists are turning the spotlight on the country’s economic potential.

Tawoz is a farmer from the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. He and his family of 40 depend on a two-acre farm for survival. Six years ago, under pressure from local warlords, he shifted from wheat to poppy production.The income from poppy was better than what he made when he farmed wheat, but it also put him in debt to the Taliban.

To help Afghan lawyers, USAID supported the formation of the Afghan Media Lawyers Committee, operating underneath the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA). The Media Lawyers Committee serves as a forum for lawyers in Afghanistan with an interest in media law and policy to share best practices, defend the legal protection of journalists and the press, promote the professional standards of media law advocates, and draft reports and advocate for the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression and information.  

Journalists are faced with few opportunities in Afghanistan for increasing their knowledge and technical skills. For the first time in Afghanistan, aspiring journalists, broadcasters and media managers have the opportunity to partake in a highly practical radio, television, print and new media curriculum at the Nai Media Institute’s Diploma in Media.

“Shir Sultan” (Lion King) marked his first International Earth Day event on the 22nd of April at the International School of Kabul where H.E. Mayor Nowandish introduced the children’s mascot and distributed coloring books that tell the story of how garbage is collected by the municipality. The Mayor also hailed the role children play in communicating the need for a cleaner and greener city for their future. The event marked the start of USAID-funded “Cleaning and Greening Campaign” in Kabul. 

Radio Surghar understands the importance of radio for local people. “We reflect the issues of our community in our radio programs, and we encourage the authorities to respond to community problems and to carry out necessary develop-ment projects in our district,” says Surghar Radio Station Manager Ahmad Khan.

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Last updated: January 20, 2015