|By Lossen Spain on Saturday, April 05, 2003 - 12:20 am: Edit Post|
As a PCV serving in an African nation I am a good bit more worried about threats from my own country than from the people with whom I live and work, including Muslims!
Last month, before the invasion of Iraq, my wife and I thought we might indicate our disagreement with our government's Iraqi policy, so we thought we would take some vacation and go to our host country's capital and hold our own mini-demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy. To make sure that we understood the "not getting into local politics" policy of the PC we indicated our intentions to a PC offical in the country office. We were told that we could not express our feelings in such a public manner, whether we took vacation that day or not. Indeed, it was suggested that if did so and the U.S.Ambassador discovered we were "demonstrating" that we would be picked up and immediately shipped out of the country, no going back to our village to get our stuff, just put on a plane home.
|By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 9:58 am: Edit Post|
I was so sadden to read this report from a serving PCV. The arbitrary and intimating manner in which Lossen and his wife were treated reminded me of many similar incidents when I was a PCV. This is why I think is so critical that all PCVs have a individual contract of services which delineates first amendment rights, during service. It may well be that any political expression by a serving PCV has to be approved by the COS Director or Ambassador. However, Volunteers should know that before committing to service. This kind of staff response infantizes the volunteer and marginalizes
the moral commitment of the serving PCV.
I also think such contracts should include a "conscience clause" so that if a Volunteer believes that he or she can no longer,in good faith, carry out the goals of the program, that she or he, may resign, without forfeiting the benefits of time served.
|By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 10:07 am: Edit Post|
I was so sadden to read this account by a serving PCV. It reminded me of similar incidents when I was a Volunteer. I think the PC Official's response was arbitrary and designed to intimate. This is why I think it so critical that all PCVs have an individual service contract which spells out First Amendment rights during service (among other rights and responsibilities). It may well be that any political expression has to be pre-approved - but, that ought to be in the contract and Volunteers ought to know that, if it is to be the case, before they sign up. This staff response infantizes the Volunteer and marginalizes moral committment.
I also think such a contract should include a conscience clause. If a serving PCV finds that they can no longer, in good faith, carry out the program goals, he or she should be able to resign, without prejudice or forfeiting the benefits of time served.