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.

Nestled against the Pakistani border to the east and the highly-kinetic north Barmal region, Shkin’s youth are particularly vulnerable to messaging and recruitment by anti-government actors. USAID’s Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative (ASI) worked on building Shkin’s youth capacity by connecting them  to the Afghan government and community elders. Initially, the youth from various tribes and sub-tribes in the region was invited to a two-day youth jirga also attended by several tribal leaders from Shkin, including the Shkin Shura Chief, the de facto government representative in the area.

Ramavadh is a progressive landowner farmer in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. With limited access to extension services, he depended on resource-intensive traditional agricultural practices that did not substantially increase his yield. In 2009, in order to improve his farm yield and income, Ramavadh joined the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project that is supported by USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank.

In June 2012, these  businesswomen, who variously run fleets of trucks, supply construction material, design software programs and make furniture, went to India to seek new deals, training and technology from Indian companies. The three-day Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan drew 124 Indian businesses representatives – more than twice the number expected to attend.

Municipal officials in Taloqan, Takhar Province, have enthusiastically embraced the responsibility to keep their city clean, following a trash collection project supported by USAID. For three days starting on August 27, 2012, the municipality funded and organized a cleaning campaign for the city’s market and business areas, and mobilized over 300 citizens, civil society members, and business owners to join in.

After spending years working in Kabul to turn Afghanistan into a global market player, Safir Sahar has taken his mission to the next level. In August, the former USAID project manager began working to promote his country’s economic interests as Afghanistan’s first Commercial Attaché in Geneva, Switzerland, home to the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and hundreds of major multinational corporations. 

While pregnancy and childbirth are traditionally the domain of Filipino women, decisions surrounding these issues are often strongly influenced by their male partners. Recognizing the role of men in household decision making, USAID spearheaded a congress on family health to encourage and reinforce male involvement in family planning and maternal and child health. The Alban Men's Congress, dubbed “Macho Talk: Responsible Father, Caring Husband,” took place in Tabaco City in 2010 with 110 male participants—local officials, teachers, farmers, fishermen, vendors and others.

The Afghan government is struggling to extend its presence at the national, provincial and district levels and gain legitimacy in the eyes of a disenfranchised population.  This is particularly true in Khogyani District, where recent political turmoil, allegations of corruption, and repeated replacement of the district governor have significantly undermined the public’s perception of the Afghan government’s ability to govern.  Khogyani residents view the lack of adequate education for their children as a major problem in their community.

Elfinesh Duko, a health extension worker in Ethiopia, realizes she could not be as successful educating her community about health if it weren't for the volunteers that she trains, thanks to crucial volunteertraining knowledge provided by a USAID-supported health program.

"I work in a large kebele (ward) with more than 170 households. If it were not for the community volunteers, I would not be able to reach all the houses," said Duko, who covers the Sore Homba Health Post in Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region.

Segenet Wendawork was five years old when her mother died. Her father soon remarried and moved away with his new wife. Segenet remained with her grandmother until she was nine, when her grandmother passed away. She then went to live with her aunt, who kept her home from school to help with chores. When the family became abusive and her uncle began sexually harassing her, Segenet left and moved in with a friend.

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Last updated: January 20, 2015