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.

Matiullah, who lives in western Kandahar, started his life with what many deem a severe strike against any chance of success: a congenitally disabled left leg. Matiullah’s youth was dogged by poverty at a very young age, he began working in the poppy fields as lancer to help his family earn enough to survive. The money he earned was never enough but he had no other choice because of his leg.

Their yogurt is tangy, their buttermilk is thick, and their cream is the perfect addition to an early morning caffeine fix. Tala Dairy Production Company, founded in 2012 by a group of ambitious and experienced entrepreneurs, aimed to offer home delivery service of dairy products to Kabul residents. But acheiving the globally-respected standards they aimed for - which required obtaining modern machinery and meeting international production requirements - proved difficult.

In the past 14 years, the field of Information and Communications Technology has reconnected Afghanistan to the world. In 2001, there were no phone lines, let alone internet providers. Today, over a million people are using the internet and over 18 million people own cell phones according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. 44 local internet providers and four local GSM phone operators supply ready information to a youthful population with a thirst for knowledge and a private sector anxious to build relationships with the international business community.

In many rural areas of Kandahar Province, farmers grow fruits and vegetables which have to be sold in the market immediately after harvesting. An oversupply during the harvest season equals lower profits for the farmers.  Drying fruit and vegetables is one common solution.

Ms. Frozan Haidari, like many other female university graduates, struggled to nail down a job after graduation. “I learned a great deal during my time at university but employers are looking for tangible experience,” Haidari asserted in a recent interview.

People walk all over Mohammad Reza’s business, and he couldn’t be happier about it. His company, based in Kabul, was recently awarded a large contract to produce more than 300,000 square feet of mosaic tile to pave nearly 4.5 miles of sidewalk in the city.

Twenty-year old Shakila has never enjoyed the casual warmth and style of a cashmere sweater. “Keeping goats and sheep for more than a decade I honestly didn’t recognize its value,” she told an interviewer visiting northern Jowzjan province recently.

June 2016—A work/study tour to the United States has enabled a Belarusian psychologist to turn a vision to help neglected children in her home country into a reality, changing the course of thousands of young lives.

Roya, a 40-year-old mother of nine, is the sole provider for her children. She works throughout the day to bake the distinctive Afghan flatbread known as naan in a windowless room. Her face is swaddled in a covering both white with flour and dark with soot.


Last updated: September 26, 2016