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.

Mexicali police and prosecutors felt they had reason to be proud when they brought Pedro Ramos before a judge on suspicion of armed robbery and rape. They knew they had pulled off a meticulous operation with exceptional speed and efficiency. "This arrest was possible because of very tight collaboration between municipal police, investigative police and prosecutors," said María Coronado, a prosecutor at the Sexual Crimes Unit in Mexicali. "It was made possible by changes in the system."

María and Juan Pablo* never imagined they would meet face-to-face and reconcile their past. They never dreamed they would find peace after tragedy.

For months, María had been obsessed with avenging the death of her 5-year-old son, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Mexico. She paid no heed to how her vengeful feelings were affecting her life. "I just wanted to find the person who had killed my son and make him pay," she said.

Nematullah Ayobi decided to start a chicken business in 2007, never imagining that six years on, he would be the largest poultry supplier in Herat province. Today, Toyoran-e-Ayobi has a thriving trade selling whole chickens, quarters and breasts through a network of retailers and supplying wedding halls and restaurants as well. 

When a hundred provincial government officials and elders assembled in Laghman in eastern Afghanistan, they were conscious of the sensitiveness and importance of their mission. It was their task to keep the peace in a community increasingly roiled by social change. Many families across the province were deeply disapproving of attempts by their wives and daughters to study or find work outside the home.

Galina Boltovskaya is a confident woman in her mid-40s who slings a rifle over her shoulder and a crutch under each arm. She isn’t a hunter, but, rather, an enthusiastic guide for a flashy sporting complex in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan, and an avid marksperson who excels in the 10-meter air rifle shooting event.

When Narindar Singh was killed in a road accident in Ghazni in eastern Afghanistan his grieving family was faced with the biggest question that comes with the death of the breadwinner. Who would provide now that Singh, a hard-working mason and the family’s mainstay, was dead? That’s when the Afghan Civilian Assistance Program offered to help. From 2007, the Program has helped 12,000 families who have suffered losses because of the presence of U.S. and coalition military forces in Afghanistan.

When Ilirjana Gafurri, a political party activist from Peja, Kosovo, won a seat on her local council six years ago, she became an advocate for issues such as better health care and women’s equality in her community. But Gafurri had to struggle to make her voice heard in the predominantly male body, where women are often perceived as being passive or not as qualified.

Wassel Berrayana, director of a company called Proxym-IT, credits his unorthodox hiring policy—recruiting fresh college graduates­—with fueling his firm’s rapid growth. Whereas many Tunisian employers shy away from recent graduates’ lack of experience, Berrayana sees it as a source of initiative and creativity.

With the loss of his mother when he was only 8 years old, Rico Auguste became the primary wage earner for his family, which consisted of himself and his two little brothers. To support his family, Rico was forced to quit school and find work as a porter on a local bus traveling between Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, and Jérémie, a town located in the southwestern tip of Haiti.


Last updated: January 16, 2015