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.

The people of Gornje Kuvce/Kufcë e Epërm, the largest village in Kosovo’s Novobërdë /Novo Brdo municipality, can now see in the dark. With the installation of new LED street lights—a joint project between the municipality and USAID—the village’s 2,000 residents can now travel at night much more safely.

Tran Song The, 19, was born into a poor family in Hoa Vang, a rural district of central Vietnam’s Danang province. At birth, he was diagnosed with a congenital deformity. While the condition was not fatal and did not affect his mental development, it caused the muscles and bones in his neck and shoulder to grow abnormally

Three metal boxes painted green, red and blue rest in the laps of three farmers from the rural community of Marchand Dessaline, Haiti, during a caisse communautaire, or community credit union, meeting. Secured with lock and key and entrusted to cashiers, the boxes comprise a system of savings and loans adopted by a growing number of area residents, and signify a new generation of economic opportunities for very low-income populations.

Like many developing countries, the practice is widespread in Ethiopia, even though it is unlawful and punishable. This is particularly so in the Amhara Region where the prevalence is among the highest in the world as reflected in a 2010 Population Council study showing that almost 50 percent of girls were married before the age of 15 and some married as early as age 7.

When Hieu Trinh Thi married five years ago, she knew that her husband Truong might be HIV positive since he had been an intravenous drug user in the past. In Hai Phong, Vietnam, where the couple lives, 44 percent of people who inject drugs are infected with the virus.

In a quiet alley in the southern part of the capital city of Hanoi, a man and a woman are seated on small plastic stools, conferring in low tones. The man drinks a glass of tea while the woman pulls out a sheaf of perforated papers—referral slips—and begins filling one out. She hands the slip of paper to her companion and explains its purpose as he sips his drink, nodding.

May 2014—Most poor families in Bangladesh who marry off their daughters before they turn 18—the legal age of marriage for girls—say that poverty forces them to make the choice. The result, for most girls who marry early, is more poverty, higher rates of maternal and infant mortality, and increased susceptibility to violence and disease.

But what happens when a poor family makes a different choice—to keep its girls in school rather than marry them off?

July 2014—Forests hold a wealth of biodiversity. Peru’s Amazon rainforest ranks third in the world for biodiversity, and is the basis for the survival of hundreds of native communities. In these communities, women are the gatekeepers of ancestral knowledge for the use of non-timber forest resources such as seeds and medicinal plants.

Going against the tide of politics and tradition in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), women parliamentarians have come together to form the country's first issues-based caucus, one that centers on common interests rather than party platforms. 
With USAID support, 22 women members of the House of Representatives of the Federation of BiH (FBiH), one of the country’s two governmental entities, united to form the caucus in early 2013. It was the first women’s caucus in the entire region.  


Last updated: November 13, 2015