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.

As David* starts drawing an aircraft on the whiteboard, he is closely observed by Marina Simbruh, a child psychologist at the Nasnaha Center of Psychosocial Support in Druzhkivka, a small city in eastern Ukraine. The Nasnaha Center helps children and their parents that fled the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region.

When she heard about USAID’s Political Leadership Academy, organized by the International Republican Institute, she applied and was accepted to join a six-day session in 2016. Soon after, she used her academy experience to develop a lobbying campaign to cultivate “out-of-school” educational opportunities for students in her city.

Over the past 20 years, while rural communities have increased connectivity and access to mobile technology, the elephant population has significantly decreased, and these wonderful creatures’ future is now dire.

A 22 years old, Abozar Mesbah was faced with the responsibility of providing for his entire family including a brother, six sisters, his parents, and grandparents. The Afghan family had left their home for Pakistan during the most dangerous days of faction infighting in Kabul and were struggling to get back on their feet after their recent return to the capital.

Until recently, Shamsudin and other farmers in Argo district received little support from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, and were forced to deal with the challenges of farming on their own. “Nobody from the Ministry of Agriculture visited me for two years, nor did I receive any assistance,” Shamsudin said.

The craftsmanship of Mansoor Armaghan’s woodworking has long been sought after in Afghanistan’s capital, but working each project by hand meant that the family-owned company was limited in the number of pieces they could produce. In order to maintain the same quality that they were known for and increase their production to provide work for local craftsmen, Mansoor knew that he would need to purchase new equipment.

As head of the Kosovo Ostomy Association, Arta Uka works to help Kosovars who have ostomies—artificial openings in an organ of the body created during a surgical operation. She is currently working on a project to inform citizens about the condition with leaflets and brochures in Albanian and Serbian. She also plans to organize doctor lectures on how to best live with an ostomy.

For as long as she can remember, Mildred Wanjala, 25, was determined to excel. As a primary school pupil in Kenya’s Bungoma County, she dreamed of becoming a teacher, but her responsibilities as the first born of seven presented another, even greater, responsibility: helping to provide for her younger siblings.

As a teacher, farmer, and mother of three, sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is on Asela Valonge's shoulders. It’s not an uncommon feeling. In many cases, the average Tanzanian has yet to feel the impact of the country’s recent economic growth. Fortunately, Valonge's home region of Iringa is forging a new approach to development. Instead of relying on autonomously functioning programs to develop solutions, USAID activities in the region are pooling efforts and comparing notes, working in tandem to maximize impact for people like Valonge. 

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Last updated: September 22, 2017