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.

When a crowd of around 70 people listened to Aytekin Verdiyeva make an impassioned speech in August 2012 on women’s leadership in Azerbaijan, no one could have guessed it was her first public oration. Her feelings seemed to overwhelm her as she made her first speech as a government official.

Constrained by conservative social values, most women in Azerbaijan never achieve prominence in public and professional roles. But if Verdiyeva’s story is any indication, that situation is gradually changing. 

Conflicts between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Meiktila, Burma, resulted in the death of over 40 community members, and the destruction of numerous homes and community buildings in spring 2013. Violence continued to spread southward, increasing concern about a widespread outbreak of violence. 

Following the outbreaks, in April, USAID, through its Office of Transition Initiatives, supported a local youth organization to disseminate their messages of tolerance and peace.

For decades, conflict-affected communities in Burma have experienced limited international assistance. However, the country's recent political reforms have reversed that trend—but with a cost. Despite the best of intentions, the newfound assistance has the potential to shift power dynamics and exacerbate local conflict by inadvertently shifting power dynamics and introducing new resources to be competed over. 

In 2012, the mayor’s office in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire, imposed a yearly licensing fee of $50 (25,000 CFA) on each transporter and taxi driver. Revenue from the licensing fee was intended for road repairs and other improvements to transportation infrastructure in Bouaké. However, the roads remained in a state of complete disrepair, and attempts to collect the fee triggered protests and refusals to pay among transporters and taxi drivers who saw the fee as unreasonable since they did not see the funds put to good use.

When word of the demonstration spread through Facebook, Inas Miloud was ready to act. Sitting at a USAID-supported information center in western Libya’s Nafusa Mountains, Miloud got online and exchanged messages with other activists who were planning to rally for women’s representation on the committee that will draft the nation’s new constitution. On June 1, 2013, she traveled to Tripoli, took to the street, and made her voice heard.

“Without the information center, I would not have heard about the demonstration or been able to take part,” said Miloud.

Vesa Gashi has a plan for anyone and everyone in Kosovo with a reason to celebrate. Whether you’re getting married, celebrating a birthday or just hankering to party, Gashi, 26, is here to help. Since Gashi began her own event management company in 2012, she has planned more than 150 bashes, soirées and other parties.

“I offer everything and even if I don’t have it, I find it,” says Gashi. “I make it happen.”

A USAID-financed program in Haiti is improving air quality for cooking vendors and is expected to save more than 500 tons of charcoal a year.
The three-year Improved Cooking Technology Program ("Recho Pa’w" in Creole) aims to promote sustainable energy for cooking and reduce the consumption of charcoal by large-scale users as well as households.

USAID, përmes Programit të Ndërmarrësve të Rinj, që u zhvillua prej shtatorit 2010 deri në shtatorin e vitit 2013, ndihmoi Pleurat Buçaj-n për të hartuar planin e biznesit që ka udhëzuar fillimin e suksesshëm të fidanishtes së tij.

USAID, preko  svog programa za mlade preduzetnike koji je trajao od septembra 2010 do septembra 2013 godine pomogao je Pleurat Buçaj-u da izradi poslovni plan koji je  vodio  ka uspešno početku njegovog rasadnika.


Last updated: January 15, 2015