October 27, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: Suggestions can not be applied by a Bolivia RPCV

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: October 26, 2003: Dayton Daily News reports on Peace Corps Safety and Security: What RPCVs say about this Series on other Message Boards: October 27, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: Suggestions can not be applied by a Bolivia RPCV

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-165-54.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 11:55 pm: Edit Post

Suggestions can not be applied by a Bolivia RPCV

Suggestions can not be applied by a Bolivia RPCV

Suggestions can not be applied By K L

What people reading Russel Carollo's articles are not getting is that you can not predict or prepare for most violent crimes. You just can't! That is why it is SO important for PC administation to research sites and the culture before sending PCVs out into unknown territory. In training they do teach us safety but it is not always what is encountered in the daily lives of PCVs.

PCVs need to act. We are the ones out there doing the work, We are the ones living hours from the city and (1 hour usually) from the nearest PCV. I must add here that I was raped in the city where I thought it was safer. PCVs should watch out for each other and APCDs should visit sites regularly. Also training on safety should include real experiences of current/previous PCVs. In training my group watched a video about women that were raped (not internationally where there is a language barrier to consider). This video, although I paid attention (but couldn't relate at the time) did not prepare me to keep myself safe (which is what I was expected to do).

Please, think and listen to the article, read it again because there are problems that need to be fixed to make PC better. I loved my experience overall. I am thankful to PC for enabling me to experience Bolivia. I am not sorry that I went back after being raped. I just hope that PCVs can be paired in the future and that the administartion will better prepare PCVs for service.

PC has to admit there is a problem before it can improve, and maybe it already has but we all had to survive near death for a change to occur. Let's not learn the hard way. Let's not repeat the past. Let Russell's series remind inform us and let's learn from the past and improve the agency. PC can improve (now) without future casualties. Critics (realists) will say "we are at war, PCVs know it's dangerous, the world is dangerous, bad things happen, etc. my opinion is that if you are volunteering for an agency there should be a feeling of " I'm not in this alone,I am part of a team, I am protected, I am safe". In my experience it was "every volunteer for himself/herself. The world may be dangerous but agencies exist to create safety and when there are problems, PCVs are in put unneccesarily in danger.

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Story Source: Dayton Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Investigative Journalism; COS - Bolivia



By Vera Preston-Jaeger (cs6625197-47.austin.rr.com - on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 11:37 am: Edit Post

I am dismayed at the lack of concern for PCV's by the incountry administration and the D.C. Peace Corps administration. It's a "if I don't acknowledge bad things happening to PCV's then they didn't happen" attitude. The lack of emotional and financial support of PCV's who have been injured is inexcusable. I'm very disappointed in the Peace Corps. Policy should be written and followed demanding emotional and financial support of injured PCV's. Why are PCV's still being sent where they are in obvious danger?
I was in the PC from 1962 - 1964. Now PC administrators are aware of events throughout the world. Communication is much improved. Why aren't PCV's provided with ways to communicate with other PCV's and the PC incountry staff?

By Alice_Henry (sdn-ap-010scfairp0248.dialsprint.net - on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 1:09 pm: Edit Post

I was a volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire for over four years. I was there when many of the incidents noted in the Dayton article took place. If you split the incidents by type, you could better assess Peace Corps responsibility. On crimes of sexual violence, Peace Corps provided excellent preventive advice. If you compare the incidence of rape and sexual abuse to PCV's and women in the US, do women in the US fare better or worse? On violent crimes - murder - again, Peace Corps could do no better than it did in its advice on how to avoid armed assaults and rape - avoid bad areas and don't walk alone at night in those areas. Again, are you sure a person is safer in the US than with Peace Corps? Traffic accidents are a different story. The major roads in Cote d'Ivoire are very dangerous - mud, pot holes, not enough traffic to make drivers stick to the right side of the road, and enough traffic to ensure frequent collisions. Peace Corps policy required PCV's to not take public transport at night. I thought rain was more of a hazard.

But you know, I thought policy for all three types was the best you could do. Only in the case of traffic accidents did I perceive increased risk in Cote d'Ivoire as compared to Washington DC. And Peace Corps never thought it was doing the best possible - they were always looking for better ways.

Take care,
Alice Henry

By bankass.com (user-uinj46c.dialup.mindspring.com - on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 12:39 am: Edit Post

If you brake it down into a bureaucratic incident then you get the response from Peace Corps.

Kevin Levielle should be honored for his service.

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