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 tropical storm hit a small village in the Philippines last year, a simple yet effective flood early warning system proved its worth, saving lives and better preparing residents for the inevitable natural disasters that affect the region.

After losing her husband two years ago, Mohamed Agaïcha, a mother living in rural Timbuktu, lacked an adequate source of income and found herself unable to provide enough food for her five children. Agaïcha’s family is one of the hundreds of thousands of families affected by the ongoing conflict and violence in northern Mali.

Many university students in the Kyrgyz Republic are unclear about their future career and have limited vision of where they want to work after graduation. Career orientation activities help students identify their strengths and areas for improvement, find their career paths, and develop job-seeking skills. In addition, in today's ever-changing global economy the need to adapt and to follow the latest trends in one’s profession is crucial.

During the Kyrgyz Republic’s transition to a parliamentary democracy in 2010, the Provisional Government declared Kyrgyz Public Television and Radio (OTRK), the state-owned TV channel, a public service broadcaster.  This began the process of reforming the national channel, long a mouthpiece of state policy, into an independent public institution.  USAID, with Internews Network, supports OTRK in this long-term reform process. One of the biggest hurdles facing OTRK has been establishing a connection with its viewers nationwide, many of whom still perceive the channel to be dominated by the state. While television is often a one-way medium, the online space is better suited for engaging with viewers in a conversation.  Younger people are increasingly turning online for news.

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.

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Last updated: June 23, 2015