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.

In the remote village of Chitanda in Zambia’s Central Province, two-year-old Chipo, is learning to walk. This event is remarkable, given the challenges of her young life.

Chipo’s mother passed away a month after her birth, and she was left in the care of her grandmother. Chipo was diagnosed with HIV and was severely malnourished and constantly sick. Her grandmother did everything in her power to provide Chipo with food and treatment, exhausting precious resources to travel to Liteta Hospital, more than 50 miles away.

Elson Muulu is the principal teacher at the Kasama School of Nursing, in Zambia’s Northern Province. He manages the school, which currently serves 150 nursing students, and teaches together with four others.

Since 2005, Dr. Abel Shawa has served as the health director for Isoka District in Zambia’s Northern Province. He is the first Zambian doctor ever to serve in this remote district. Previously, doctors in Isoka had been recruited from other countries, such as Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia.

Reducing high rates of preventable illness and death among young children is an ongoing challenge for Zambia, where more than 70 percent of the population is poor. An innovative approach to reach Zambian children is Child Health Week, a mass campaign held twice a year in clinics and communities nationwide. With the support of partners like USAID, the highly publicized event supplements the health sector’s day-to-day work with a free package of high-impact services to prevent common diseases and malnutrition in children under age 5.

To help improve and protect the health of people living in the community of Thula, USAID sponsored the rehabilitation of the main cistern, the Jaadan Cistern. The plan to renovate the cistern carefully considered Thula’s historical and cultural importance; the renovators used mainly natural stone materials and a traditional method of plaster called qadad.

Al-Hussein Bin Ali School lies three kilometers north of Al-Qimah village in Amran, at the foot of Thula Mountain, Yemen. People in the village have lived in closely grouped houses since long before Hajj Al-Rowni was born. Al-Rowni is a 70-year-old Shiekh, and it was with his help that USAID brought change to the school.

“I never had the chance to go to school when I was a kid” says, Om Ali Abdullah, a 40-year-old Yemeni mother. “I don’t even know what a school looks like... my 15 year old daughter, Intisar, had to leave school after the third grade.

In the five months that Mohamed Ahmed Alawili and Hassan Al-Mogahed have been working with livestock extension agents from a USAID agricultural support program in Yemen’s Amran governorate, they have witnessed firsthand the benefits USAID is providing to farmers in the country.

The program is a USAID-funded initiative to enhance agricultural production and rural economic development in Yemen. By using the concentrated feed, mineral blocks, vaccinations and training the program provided, Mohamed and Hassan have seen the health and productivity of their sheep increase dramatically.

When Balagh Ahmed Abdullah first heard of the training the Hawa Charity Association for Women offered on weaving the traditional Yemeni “ma’awaz” (skirt-like garments worn by men), she felt as if the “sky had opened a window of mercy” for her and her family.

Balagh is one of the best trainees in the initial weaving training being sponsored by USAID. Unable to read or write, she is pleased to have the opportunity to learn a skill she can use to support her family, as Balagh’s husband is often unable to find work to support his small family.


Last updated: August 20, 2013