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.

Grace William, a female sex worker in Yambio, South Sudan, is visibly pregnant by a client who refused to use a condom. Like many female sex workers, she has been a target of violence. She is HIV-positive and has been on antiretroviral drugs for two years.

Nehemiah Eristhee, 13, is a picture of concentration as he controls his small Lego robot. He smiles victoriously as it successfully navigates its way out of a barricade structure before lifting a small object placed in its path.

The Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern Nigeria has created a culture of fear and distrust among religious groups in Michika, a local government area in Adamawa state. This distrust is prominently seen among Muslim and Christian groups who blame each other for the insurgency.

Safe on the Ugandan edge of Lake Albert, Jeanette Kambenesa and her three children — Diana, Faith and Robert — ate the first food they had had in days. This respite came at the end of a harrowing week-long journey from their home in Ituri province in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Violence in the Republic of the Congo’s Pool Department displaced a third of the region’s population in 2016. Grace*, a 21-year-old mother of two, fled her home with her children, seeking refuge in Goma TseTse, near the capital of Brazzaville. More than a year later, when the fighting in Pool subsided, Grace and her children returned home.

Tabantougny is a seaside community in Guinea’s prefecture of Boffa, with a main activity of rice cultivation in mangrove areas. Since 2013, the community has been faced with a chronic food shortage due to seawater destroying the farmland. Irrigation and flood protection infrastructure is old and often dilapidated, causing sea water to enter the farmlands and destroy the crops.

In Guinea, most young graduates are looking for their first job. Agriculture is a sector with high job potential that can attract and retain young people if policies promote access to credit at reasonable rates, guaranteed contracts, and training both in production and marketing of agricultural products.

The fish available in the local markets are often dried and smoked marine fish of poor hygienic and nutritional quality due to long-distance transportation from the country’s Western Area. Income-generating activities in the district are limited, especially now with a decline in mining. Households rely largely on subsistence farming, which does not provide enough diversified food. This has further exacerbated malnutrition in women and children (especially girls), who often have less access to animal protein compared to male heads of household, suffocating their growth potential.

Mariama Keita has been a midwife for more than 30 years now at the maternity center of the regional hospital in Mamou, a prefecture in central Guinea. As the head midwife, she and other service managers have received training to better accommodate patients and make them feel more comfortable.