August 20, 2002 - PCOL Exclusive: An RPCV comments on "Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort"

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 08 August 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: August 20, 2002 - PCOL Exclusive: An RPCV comments on "Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort"

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 1:17 pm: Edit Post

An RPCV comments on "Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort"

Read and comment on this letter to the editor from RPCV Michi Vojta on Mark Shahinian's op-ed piece in the Washington Post titled Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort.

The original op-ed piece is at:

Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort

Read the response at:

Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort

By Mark Shahinian

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Thank you, Mark, for someone finally speaking out against the growth of the Peace Corps "just 'cuz" ("Bigger Peace Corps, Paltry Effort", 20 August 2002). There are so many Peace Corps folks that are in favor of the expansion of the program, without seeming to think about the implications to the countries they served. I was in Kenya for 3 years, and too much of the Peace Corps hours spent were in training, getting used to the site, and staff time trying to get the government to re-request a volunteer (so that they would be able to accomodate the large number of volunteers already coming to country). In addition, what will another 15 or so volunteers in Kenya--or Cote d'Ivoire, or Honduras--really accomplish, when the US government has so much other money going elsewhere and terrible international policies in place?

I loved my time in the Peace Corps, and I am a passionate supporter of it. However, the idea of expanding it, quickly and with only a US-based reason for it, when we already have trouble finding qualified volunteers, when we already have too many volunteers coming into country, and when we already have too many staff living too high a lifestyle in the cosmopolitan capitals of "developing" nations, is not the answer. That's not intelligent policy; that's politics as usual--in an agency that generally does and should always remain free of it.

Good luck, Mark, with the remainder of your service!

Michi Vojta

Raleigh, NC

(While I realize that this is not likely to get printed, I hope that you could at least share my comments with Mark in Cote d'Ivoire. I don't really know any other way to reach him. Thanks.)

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