Transforming Lives

Speeches Shim

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.

Thousands of Somali families escaped their homes when the 2017 drought paralyzed their villages, destroyed their livestock, and led to their children’s deaths. Without food, water or income, many traveled long distances to settle in large internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in and around Baidoa, the capital of South West state.

Faktoje is a critical element of USAID’s Justice for All reforms in Albania, which is helping improve government transparency and accountability through responsible journalism.

Since the spillover of the Boko Haram conflict from Nigeria to Niger’s Diffa region in 2015, nothing is the same. Violence, insecurity and fear have affected all areas of life, displacing hundreds of thousands and putting many lives on hold.

When Nyantau Machoch and her six children arrived in Ethiopia’s Jewi refugee camp, they were relieved and grateful to receive nutrient-packed biscuits, the first food they had eaten in days. The family had traveled through the bush on foot from their home in war-torn South Sudan, as gunshots rang out around them. They survived on leaves and wild fruits, which filled their stomachs but made them sick.

July 2018 — Senad Santic was only 4 years old when he and his family fled to Sweden from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in 1993, in the midst of war. Like many other Bosnian diaspora, his family maintained close links to his native city of Mostar, spending most summers there after 1996.

Years later, Santic realized he wanted to connect his friends and business networks in Gothenburg, Sweden, with those in Mostar — and that’s exactly what he did.

When Ailleene Joy Verbo was a child, she loved listening to her grandfather’s solar-powered radio. “Our rural village did not have electricity,” she said. “The radio broke the quietness of the day.”

The joy of being healed and returning to regular life beamed on the face of Bountou Sylla, a 21-year-old trader from Souguéta, a village 60 kilometers north of Kindia in the lower Guinea region. Sylla had suffered extremely painful complications during her second pregnancy.

The school environment for many young Malian children is not conducive to learning to read. Overcrowded classrooms; poorly trained and poorly paid teachers; lack of books, materials and space; no electricity; very little access to preschool; and no books at home are only a few of the obstacles children have to face.

Pit bulls may be dogs of rare courage, but they must be trained to fight. The same requirement applied to Adnan Tulić, who says the specialized training he received through USAID was the best thing that could have happened for his career as a prosecutor — and, it seems, the worst thing for criminals who cross his path, some of whom are now in jail.