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.

What would entice a young university graduate to intern with the Herat Provincial Council?  Answer: the USAID-funded Support to Sub-National Governance Institutions (SNG) Project which provides technical assistance to Provincial Councils. A particularly interesting project component for youth is that university and higher education students are positioned to learn and assist within the PCs on six-month internships.  Recently 13 interns (six women and seven men) in western provinces of Badghis, Farah, Ghor, and Herat completed their internships. 

 Although agricultural technical schools are not a new industry in Timor-Leste, developing the specific business training within these schools for budding entrepreneurs is a new and exciting facet. To meet the need and ensure a program that proved inspiring, USAID brought in Land O'Lakes to design, develop, and implement the one-year vocational training curriculum.

Like so many young people in Jordan and around the world, Murad Al Zaghal was in need of opportunities to express his creative voice in a way that contributed to his personal growth. By participating in USAID’s International Youth Day 2011, 19- year-old Al Zaghal got a boost to his confidence and abilities while pursuing his passion for design.

Seventy percent of Jordan’s population is under age 30, and nearly two-thirds of working-age youth are unemployed. The Government of Jordan has made the positive participation of youth in all aspects of life a high priority, and USAID recently initiated an integrated set of programs to address youth and poverty.


Orphan support is an important component of the USAID-funded Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Program, known as CHAMP, which has, since 2009, delivered to nearly 8,000 orphans and vulnerable children a wide range of services such as education - school fees, life skills training through youth clubs, recreational activities, vocational training, emotional support, legal support - provision of birth certificates; referral of sick children to health facilities and follow-up home visits.

Independent media is only 10 years old in Afghanistan, and in this short-time has gained critical support from local communities. Slower to develop in Afghanistan is the local commercial economy that is needed to provide advertising revenue for a sustainable and vibrant media sector. “The local business sector does not yet see the value of spending money on advertising,” says Internews media adviser, Abdul Wahed Hashimi, who helped establish some of Afghanistan’s first local radio stations. 

Although they are largely preventable, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and measles are the main diseases that kill children under age five in Timor-Leste, which has among the highest child mortality rates in southeast Asia. To improve the diagnosis and treatment of sick children, USAID lends support to a project working to improve skills and health services at all levels within the Ministry of Health.

Through the Timor-Leste Integrated Health Assistance project (known locally as TAIS), USAID has taught health workers to assess, classify, and treat the most common types of childhood illnesses. Last year, more than 15,000 children were treated for pneumonia by USAID-trained health workers.

Oumalkaire Omar Djama is a dynamic and passionate 22-year-old woman from the district of Arta in the Republic of Djibouti who has made the journey from a hopeless, out-of-school youth to a successful truck driver and supervisor at one of the country's largest private construction companies. Djama signed on and completed a four-month driving program last year, supported under USAID/Djibouti's Assistance to Education program, and implemented in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and a private sector driving school called Zaki. The goal of the program is to assist out-of-school youth acquire skills that are in demand in the job market. Djama passed all her courses and obtained a driver's license for heavy equipment vehicles, a field traditionally dominated by men.

Haiti struggles to raise tax revenue. In fact, the country has one of the world’s lowest percentages of tax receipts as a share of GDP, at approximately 9 percent. This hinders the ability of municipalities to provide basic public services, such as waste management. With an expanded tax base, the Haitian Government seeks to improve the quality and scope of its services and decrease dependency on foreign aid.

Dang Tran Khanh runs his fingers along his motorcycle chain. “My father bought this plastic-coated chain to prevent abrasions,” he said. “It used to be for chaining me [so I could not leave home in search of drugs]. Now my dad and I use it to lock up the motorbike, to keep it from getting stolen at lunch.” Khanh is a former Hanoi drug user, who appears among the more than 100 photos in “Face-to-Face with Drugs”—Vietnam's first photo exhibition on the lives of drug users. The event was organized by USAID and its partners and launched with PEPFAR funding in June 2011 in Hanoi and November 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City.


Last updated: January 20, 2015