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 Kyrgyz Republic, one of the poorest former Soviet republics, people face many social and economic problems. The most dire circumstances are found in remote mountainous regions of the country. However, lack of finance is not always the main challenge. Sometimes people lack knowledge, experience and confidence that they can solve their problems by themselves.

Thai farmers are turning away from pesticides and restoring highly degraded land with trees that can live in damaged soil. The trees grow quickly and can thrive in areas where many other species struggle. They require no irrigation and can survive even the driest conditions.

When women are elected, they become advocates for issues that affect everyone: better health care, child care and education, among others. In Kosovo, like elsewhere, women often struggle to make their voices heard in predominately male organizations, where their contributions can be dismissed as nothing more than meeting a quota.

In 2012, USAID launched the five year, $22.5 million Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program to help the Philippines conserve biodiversity, manage forests, support low emissions, and contribute to disaster risk reduction in seven protected areas in the country.

Until recently, Hameda* had a computer in her office but couldn’t use it. The head teacher of the Goharshad Begum girls’ school in Herat, western Afghanistan, didn’t know how. When her students told her she could learn for free at the Anaar Multimedia Center, the 36-year-old jumped at the chance.

Amanullah Khanzada was unaware that his Afghan confectionary company needed to improve safety practices until a training program emphasized international hygiene standards.

It was pure chance that Safdar Ali saw a poster advertising multimedia and social media courses that would propel him into taking a more active role in bettering his community.

For 30 years, Suratgar’s press was well-known for its hand-painted billboards and customer service. But by 2013, digital printing had arrived in Mazar-e-Sharif and Suratgar Printing Press’s outdated production processes couldn’t compete. Suratgar knew he had to upgrade, but never had sufficient collateral to secure a bank loan.

Hanan Shah Agha proudly calls himself a full-time motorbike mechanic. It is a marked step up from being unemployed and without prospects, before he graduated from a 78-day vocational training program on motorcycle repair.

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Last updated: June 21, 2017