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.

The Capacity Building and Change Management Program-II, which runs from 2014 to 2017, is a $20 million project that embeds Afghan change management specialists in critical directorates and regional agriculture and livestock ministries. Since the program began last year, 344 people in provinces across Afghanistan have received technology training.

Ajmal* runs a shop that sells pesticides in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Until recently, he was unaware that protective clothing should be worn while spraying and that some chemicals are harmful to the environment and are banned by the government.

Kandahar Food Zone intervention programs are designed to support alternatives to poppy cultivation. The goal is to strengthen and diversify legal rural livelihoods in targeted districts by identifying and addressing the root causes and sources of instability that lead to opium poppy cultivation. The two-year, $18.7 million program began in July 2013.

Until recently, Maroof* wasn’t able to grow his metalworking business because the shop, in Shibirghan in the northern Afghan province of Jawzjan, could not keep up with the competition. Its production capacity was limited and so were the tools used to make the doors, window frames, fencing and corrugated steel panels that were in demand.

Summer temperatures can soar to 109 F in Qala-i-Naw, capital of Afghanistan’s northwestern province of Badghis. The power supply is erratic and most households don’t have refrigerators, which can be a problem—as well as a business opportunity.

Viktor* is a 44-year-old drug addict from Ukraine with a long history of injection drug use punctuated by a series of prison sentences.

A remarkable thing happened to Gideon Charles, 14, in January. For the first time, he went to Mapinduzi primary school in Tanzania, where he was enrolled in standard one, or first grade. At his age, his peers are enrolled in standard five or six, yet Gideon was proud.

In Tanzania, low-income families typically have limited access to healthy foods. This impacts their ability to make good nutritional choices and can result in malnutrition.

Farmers across coastal delta communities in the Lower Mekong Basin are experiencing firsthand the negative effects of climate change. Rainfall in the area has become more and more irregular, ruining crops and threatening livelihoods.


Last updated: September 21, 2015