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.

As a traditional healer in Ikombaboba village in Tanzania’s Tabora region, Albert Cosmas uses rituals and herbal remedies, learned from his grandfather, to heal people. He doesn't perform male circumcisions—it's not a norm for his community. When he learned that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services for HIV prevention would soon be available, he never envisioned becoming a VMMC “ambassador.”

With no new reported cases of Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared West Africa free of the deadly disease on Jan. 14, 2016—a day of joy and celebration for the region. In Sierra Leone alone, nearly 4,000 people had died during the latest outbreak of Ebola—a devastating toll for a country still struggling with the after-effects of a prolonged rebel war.

While news headlines in the recent past have been dominated by the Ebola crisis in West Africa, many people may not be aware of another virus in the region that can cause serious illness and even death—Lassa fever.

With preschools and kindergartens often filled past capacity in Kosovo, it is especially difficult for single parents to arrange child care. But now some cities are offering free child care, to the benefit of children and parents alike. It all began with a discussion of social issues.

South Sudan now has more children not attending school than any other country, according to the United Nations—1.8 million children aged 6 to 15.

Under the afternoon sun in the Philippines, harvested grain lays on a solar dryer before processing in a rice mill. Three feet away from the mounds of grain, Anna Grace Cabillo, secretary of the Kasaganahan Irrigators Association Inc., keeps watch.

Demand for wildlife products in China and Southeast Asia is driving many species toward extinction. Taking the spotlight off themselves, celebrities in the region are helping to shine a light on the issue.

Mangrove trees serve as a buffer between land and sea in Cambodia, helping to prevent soil erosion and protect livelihoods. They are also vital to conserving the environment because they serve as a carbon “sink”—storing more carbon than they release.

Two-wheel tractors are changing the landscape for Afghan farmers in more ways than one. They're changing the types of crops farmers grow, the cost to grow them, and the amount of income from crop sales and agricultural services.

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Last updated: April 25, 2016