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.

Claudelina Portillo was the only woman in an elected leadership position in the Guayaibi Poty cooperative in Paraguay. Many of her female friends told her they could not join because the $3 monthly fee was too high. Portillo raised the issue with the other cooperative leaders, but they weren’t willing to find a solution.

“I can never forget the day when I was selected to receive a USAID scholarship,” says Aisha Butt, a talented young woman from Punjab province, Pakistan, recalling her happiness in 2009. She had successfully gained admission to the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, to pursue her Master’s Degree, but did not have the money to pay for her studies.  

Aisha had just completed 12 years of schooling when her parents died. She was left alone to take care of her younger sisters and saw no way to continue education while providing for her siblings.

When top managers from 14 Kazakhstani companies visited Kabul, Afghanistan, in July 2013 to present and promote products and goods made in Kazakhstan, more than $7 million in deals between entrepreneurs from the two countries were preliminarily negotiated at the meetings. The meetings were part of a trade exchange organized by USAID's Regional Economic Cooperation Project.

В рамках торговой миссии, организованной Проектом USAID по региональному экономическому сотрудничеству, топ менеджеры из 14 казахстанских компаний посетили Кабул с целью представления и продвижения продуктов и товаров, произведенных в Казахстане.  В ходе встреч были достигнуты предварительные договоренности между афганскими и казахстанскими предпринимателями  на поставку продукции на общую сумму более чем $ 7 миллионов, что было бы невозможным без поддержки USAID.

Ask random Thai students about their dream jobs. Probably not even one out of 10 would think about working for civil society organizations (CSOs) or the non-profit sector. But that could change.   Khon Kaen University in northeast Thailand is now offering students new career perspectives by launching the country’s first Center for Civil Society and Non-Profit Management.

More than 70,000 young people packed in to hear the first major open air concert in Burma in over a half a century on December 16, 2012. Front and center were messages about human trafficking and exploitation and how to avoid both.

Organized by the USAID-supported MTV EXIT program, the concert featured Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz alongside Burma's top artists: Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein and R Zarni, Chan Chan, Sai Sai, Lynn Lynn, Phyo Gyi and Chit Htu Wai. Thailand’s Slot Machine also traveled over to grace the stage.

People in the remote village of War Taw in southern Burma often do battle with malaria. Here, villagers earn their living working in and around forests that harbor malaria-carrying mosquitoes, but health services are scarce and far away.

They came from all over Southeast Asia and met on the beach. And cleaned it. Without pay. That’s not all. They had to compete for the opportunity.

Alen Jusupović, a 23-year-old student of agricultural engineering in Sarajevo, was intrigued by the idea of starting a donkey farm after learning that a similar business was thriving in neighboring countries. In 2012, he set out to have the first in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

It was by accident that he signed up for a USAID program to support would-be student entrepreneurs like him. Turns out, it was a smart move. A year later, Jusupović had his own money-making farm.


Last updated: January 15, 2015