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.

In Benin, nearly 70 percent of women will be victims of gender-based violence in their lifetimes. As in most of the world, the majority of these crimes will go unreported. This is where the One Stop Care Centers step in to provide survivors with a place to receive comprehensive, survivor-centered care.

The people of Rudo, a small town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), live off the land, growing fruits and vegetables or raising cattle. There are no factories and companies, so citizens are mostly left to fend for themselves against the forces of nature. Sanja Mršević is one of the thousands who share this fate.

Zerdo is a musician by trade, with a music school degree, but she could not find a paying job in her line of work. She is not alone: Joblessness in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for people in her age group is over 40 percent. So Zerdo knew she had to create her own destiny. She stayed true to what she loved and started a business based on nature.

Kada je 21-godišnja Fijola Azemi odgovovorila na poziv za podnošenje prijava za program međuetničkog pripravničkog stažiranja na Kosovu, ona nije znala šta da očekuje. Centar za društveni razvoj u Gračanici je svega nekoliko kilometara udaljen od mesta gde je ona odrasla ali je ipak za Azemijevu i njene prijatelje to jedan potpuno drugi svet.

Kur 21-vjeçarja Fjolla Azemi i’u përgjigj ftesës për aplikime për programin ndëretnik të praktikës profesionale në Kosovë, ajo nuk dinte çfarë të priste. Qendra për Zhvillim Social në Graçanicë është vetëm pak kilometra larg vendit ku ajo është rritur, por Azemi dhe shokët e saj kishin përshtypjen se ky ishte një vend në anën tjetër të botës.

Bertha January, a single mother, often struggled to provide her 13-month-old daughter, Zipora, with enough nutritious food to keep her healthy. Over time, Zipora became extremely underweight and lethargic, almost reaching a point where she was not strong enough to eat.

In 2014, the Ebola virus outbreak claimed over 2,000 lives in Guinea. The rapid spread of the disease across the country was primarily due to the Ministry of Health’s lack of communication preparedness and transparency, which led to the citizenry’s complete mistrust of the public health system. As a consequence, people avoided hospitals and reverted instead to alternative health care through local healers, exacerbating the spread of the disease.

When 21-year-old Fjolla Azemi answered the call for applications for an interethnic internship program in Kosovo, she didn’t know what to expect. The Center for Social Development in Gracanica is only a few kilometers from where she grew up, but for Azemi and her friends, it’s a world away.

We all want to be happy, but when making other people happy is what brings you happiness, you can still face a lot of obstacles. Sanja Idrizović, from the town of Konjic in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), experienced this firsthand. She studied psychology so she could help people heal emotionally and psychologically in order to live healthier, happier lives.


Last updated: March 20, 2018