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.

Pari Taota village, located just outside Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, is one of many Pacific Island communities besieged by the effects of climate change and other natural events. Now its challenges are represented on Google Maps.

Aug. 2014—It was supposed to be a regular USAID workshop in the Philippines' Davao City to provide Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) chief executives with leadership skills to improve their local school boards. But as the day progressed, it became much more.

Bayanihan, or the spirit of helping one’s neighbor, binds local officials in the Philippines’ Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, thanks to recent workshops for local school boards.

The call for local government executives to keep a high level of integrity was never more apparent among peers than during local school board workshops conducted in the Philippines in November 2013 under a USAID project.

July 2014—Jessie Lebanan, Elizabeth Entienza, and Emerlita Balasbas are clearing a path for Filipino micro-entrepreneurs and cooperatives to better manage their money and receive loan proceeds through a new, unconventional method.

With high transportation costs and long travel times, many Filipinos lack access to financial services. As a result, they miss opportunities to manage and grow their money. So USAID has engaged local governments, businesses and financial institutions to deliver banking services via the one tool that nearly all Filipinos possess—their mobile phones.

July 2014—Maylene Reyes, 21, is a mother and full-time micro-entrepreneur. She lives in the rural town of Benito Soliven in the Philippines’ Isabela province. She runs a sari-sari store—a convenience store that sells a variety of goods that serve the daily needs of her community. Sari-sari stores are typically operated inside the storeowner’s home and are found in most neighborhoods in the Philippines. In the afternoon, Reyes travels around her village selling banana que, a Filipino snack made of fried bananas coated in caramelized sugar. 

July 2014—Rather than pursue a risky migration abroad, or simply become resigned to a life of extreme poverty, landless youth in a chronically food insecure district in Ethiopia are staying in their families’ villages, while also earning an income. How?

These young men and women in the Dodota district are participating in the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program, a USAID-supported project to restore their local watershed and rejuvenate degraded land. It is also dramatically changing their lives.

“We never went hungry during the time we received assistance.” Such a simple statement from Bellah Mabhungo, 57, from Mabhungo village in Zimbabwe said it all. For her and others in the village, the hunger season had come a little earlier than expected in 2013.

Eleven-year-old Maftuna Ismoilova and her 6-year-old brother Shukrullo live in the remote village of Dustov, in Khatlon province, Tajikistan. Like most children in Dustov, Maftuna and Shukrullo had no access to books for young children, not even at the school library, until the arrival of 433 books in 2013.


Last updated: May 21, 2015