How sad it is to read the article below involving rape, murder, and alleged cover ups in one of America's most revered voluntary organizations. Back in the 60's and 70's, we all heard and read about the great things which were being accomplished by the Peace Corps volunteers overseas.
What idealistic young person, bent on making their mark in the world, not to mention the opportunity to travel to a foreign land, could resist such temptation?
I can remember how I was determined, all the way through High School, then nursing school, to go into the Peace Corps. Nothing was going to stop me - at least, until I met my husband. I even told him, when we first met, I'm going into the Peace Corps!
Well, so much for that. Reality sets in, you meet someone and something clicks, goals change, feelings change, and we were married seven months later. But I never lost my admiration for those who traveled to foreign lands to help built homes, taught children, and provided medical care for the most desparate among us.
Looking back, I had always viewed them as something of a beacon of light among a world gone mad, it seemed at times, with malicious hatred and murderous intent. To have to read that those very volunteers, such as Katy Puzy and Deborah Gardnar, whose young idealism and spirit helped change the world, had themselves become victims of such vicious crime and corruption, is heart-breaking indeed.
But, to read that the very organization, which promoted those ideals, has allegedly been covering up such unspeakable brutality against its volunteers, is infuriating beyond description. How could they behave in such a manner? To what purpose did they (supposedly) engage in such deception? Just exactly who and what were they protecting?
"Writes a volunteer now serving in West Africa: It eats at me every single day that I have children being molested in my schools and feel like I can't say anything about it for fear of backlash or, obviously, worse."
I hate to say it, but the problems that came to light years ago with the Red Cross enters my mind right now. The Peace Corps has an annual budget of $400 million. So, I have to ask, how much of that $400 million budget is paid out in very nice salaries for the top people? Who is protecting what?
by Donna Trussel
On the night of March 11, 2009, a 24-year-old Peace Corps volunteer named Kate Puzey was tied up and knifed on the front porch of her house in West Africa. Her throat was cut. She was killed the way you would slaughter a goat, Puzey's cousin told ABC's "20/20" in a Jan. 15 broadcast. Kate Puzey was the 23rd volunteer to be murdered in Peace Corps history.
The killing took place just days after Puzey e-mailed her Peace Corps supervisorsabout a fellow teacher and Peace Corps employee. He was not an American, but rather a villager, or Host Country National. Puzey believed he was raping the female students at the school where they taught. Puzey asked that her report remain anonymous, for obvious reasons. But it just so happened that a relative of the accused teacher was employed by the local Peace Corps office.s when their dead daughter's belongings were unceremoniously delivered in a cardboard box.
Gang rapes and death threats to female Peace Corps volunteers have in the past been met with apathy from the Peace Corps, according to the victims interviewed by ABC. In August 2009, President Obama replaced the previous Peace Corps director with Aaron S. Williams. Just prior to the airing of the ABC investigation, the Peace Corps released a statement assuring the public that Williams improved the organization's response to sexual assault and other crimes.
As for the murder of Kate Puzey, the Peace Corps had no comment: "Peace Corps does not have a role in the ongoing investigation, but we have been assured that the Benin government is supporting the legal process necessary to conclude the investigation and begin a trial. The Department of State and the FBI have been working with the Benin authorities."
Good luck with that. In a 2004 study, Benin was found to be the "most corrupt out of 95 countries analyzed. . . " Read More