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.

USAID Helps Cambodian Partners Find Local Solutions for Local Problems

Phally, a mother of three, was a primary school teacher until her husband’s death in August 1999. She went for counseling after his death, and learned that, like her husband, she was HIV positive. Frightened and suddenly alone, Phally felt helpless. Her community in Battambang, western Cambodia, shut her out, she lost her job, and she had nowhere to turn. She became seriously sick twice, once with active pulmonary tuberculosis and another time with meningitis. Her family, losing hope, checked a comatose Phally into Moung Russey Hospital in Battambang, supported by USAID in collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Cambodia has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world. There is great concern that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is moving from sex workers to family members, especially housewives who are unaware that they are at risk of being exposed to HIV. With an increasing number of adults infected with HIV/AIDS, there is a growing population of AIDS orphans left to the care of relatives or state institutions.

Nyine Tun lies in a hospital bed hooked up to a drip bottle with saline solution. The frail 34-year-old woman says that she con-tracted malaria two weeks before arriving at Mae Tao from a village deep in the eastern Burma's interior. "I had a very high fever for days," she says. "I went to a clinic in my village but they wouldn't treat me because I couldn't afford the medicines." Nyine Tun resorted to seeing a traditional healer who prescribed herbs as treatment. "They didn't help," she explains. "But poor people always treat themselves with herbs."

The tension within Burma contributes to the present-day exodus of people into Thailand. Nwe Nwe, one of many who sought a better life across the border, was a widowed mother diagnosed with TB and HIV when she travelled with two children from Burma to Bangkok to seek work. In desperation, Nwe Nwe and her eldest son took jobs in a bean factory in Mae Sot where they each earned $2 per day.

Like many farmers in Bangladesh, Nazrul Islam Khan, from the western district of Jessore, grows cucurbits, plants from the gourd family that include cucumbers and melons.

USAID Farmer to Farmer volunteer Jim Andrews from North Carolina is already a well-known name in the Bangladesh poultry sector, having completed eleven volunteer assignments with feed mills and poultry farms in the country.

Shima participated in a USAID-sponsored hiking program in which the Bangladesh Scouts trekked to three national parks in as many days to experience the natural beauty of the forest and learn about the importance of conservation.

USAID is working to educate Bangladeshi teens and reduce misinformation with the award-winning multimedia kit, "Know Yourself."


Last updated: January 05, 2015