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.

The program is designed to reduce the time and cost of establishing youth farm startups and help small producers increase their profits by diversifying their agricultural products. A majority of farmers in the region concentrate on grains, which bring less revenue per hectare than vegetables.

Each time a case of sesame seeds left the Barakat Bazr factory in Herat, Masood* knew that it was a lost opportunity. The seeds were sold unprepared, making them 40 percent cheaper at just $1,350 per metric ton.

The Peace Through Sports project, led by the American University of Nigeria with support from USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, has been hosting a six-month sports tournament to recognize and build youth self-esteem, resilience and tolerance. Youth participants, diverse in geographic origin, attend local secondary schools or were identified as vulnerable to violent extremism. Over 1,500 local youth from the northeastern state of Adamawa have been competing on 104 soccer, basketball and volleyball teams.

Looking back, it is clear that a lack of understanding of the electoral process and the regulations governing the elections by the youth in these neighborhoods contributed greatly to the violence. This lack of knowledge on their civic rights and responsibilities made them vulnerable to manipulation to perpetrate acts of violence. With the next presidential elections on Oct. 25, 2015, many feared that the situation could repeat itself if nothing was done.

For the June 2014 National Assembly elections, USAID, through its Increasing Inclusion and Mitigating Violence in Electoral Processes project, fielded 230 PwD to monitor access in all facets of the electoral process. This included not just voting on Election Day, an achievement in itself, but a landmark program—the first of its kind in the world—to also monitor the preceding political campaigns. The project is implemented in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and two local organizations, HandiKOS and the Kosovo Democratic Institute.

Alban Koçi was teaching a classroom-based legal clinic course for years at the University of Tirana’s Law Faculty, and yet he says his students time and again expressed the desire to improve their skills and knowledge with hands-on experience—a desire he too shared. In fact, legal education in Albania is characterized as based on overly theoretical curricula and rote learning. As a result, law school graduates come out of schools and join the legal profession with little or no practical skills.

The eldest of three daughters, she grew up in a farming family near the Mekong River in Cambodia. Doem Sdao, a rural, agricultural community, was poor and isolated. Cheng never heard of gender equality until she was recruited to join the Cambodia Ministry of Women’s Affairs in 2007. Her education in law and development cooperation led her superiors to give her a leadership position on gender and climate change.

Across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis affected hundreds of thousands of families. Husbands lost wives, children lost parents, and communities lost entire families to the deadly disease. While Ebola brought an unprecedented health epidemic, it also gave rise to a less visible crisis—a food crisis

Arnon Boonyapravase fends off jokes from friends who wonder what on earth he printed out on his 3D printer. “Some say it is a pregnancy test. Others say it is a breathalyzer,” he said.

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Last updated: March 28, 2016