Parts two and three on Peace Corps on saftey

Parts two and three of the Peace Corps series on saftey have been published. I’ve read several so far, they are pretty powerful.


Missing without a trace
Peace Corps answers few questions in disappearance

Roadside robbery leaves victim angry
Volunteer fears community she was helping to rebuild

Life of intrigue leads of murder of volunteer
Woman drawn into dangerous lifestyle during service



Danger in the highlands
Volunteers on edge in scenic African country

Searching for success despite risks
Two local volunteers see impact of efforts during missions in Africa

Volunteer believes lack of support cost her right eye
Beth Heyward says her pleas to go home for medical treatment were ignored


1 Comment

  1. Ah. Safety and security. While I was a Peace Corps volunteer [02/2002–04/2004] in Nepal, my office was bombed. My airport was mined (just before a flight I was on was to land). I was jabbed with a machine gun and robbed by Maoists. Plain-clothes millitia observed a training I gave. After working with the mayor to have a volunteer site developed at a school in my city, he was gunned down in broad daylight in the middle of town.

    Things happens and it’s a terrible idea for anyone who expects a gov’t agency to take accountability for personal safety to join the Peace Corps. Peace Corps suspended its program in Nepal four months after my group finished. Why? Guards at the US Embassy had been killed, bombs had been lobbed into the American Center.

    If anything, the the faults of the Peace Corps in the instances above were to recruit volunteers who had faulty perceptions of personal safety, and/or not stress the importance of personal responsibility. Perhaps it’s what happens when living in a developing country, to worry that things ‘happening’ to you — beyond any means of control. ‘We’re poor not because of anything we’ve done, but because it happened to us.’

    Many Peace Corps volunteers quit the program because of concerns for their personal safety. Many stayed even though it was sometimes ‘not safe.’ Read the Dayton Daily News’ reports, but remember, a person alone is responsible for their safety, as that itself is merely a perception. Logically, you can die while doing something ‘safe.’ You can also live and work in an enviroment many would consider ‘dangerous’ without incident.

    Feelings of helplessness or powerlessness in the mentioned stories are amusing and tragic. For instance, if a Peace Corps volunteer is removed from service, what’s to say that they don’t remain in country? Ah. Money? It’s the sad truth about Americans. If you were hurt and in a foreign country, would you always assume that someone else was responsible for providing proper care?

    Who would thought, so much fatalism in development.

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