November 1, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: A sarcastic and angry rant... By Kazakhstan RPCV KevinMarousek

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: November 1, 2003 - Dayton Daily News: A sarcastic and angry rant... By Kazakhstan RPCV KevinMarousek

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 1:16 pm: Edit Post

A sarcastic and angry rant... By Kazakhstan RPCV KevinMarousek

A sarcastic and angry rant... By Kazakhstan RPCV KevinMarousek

A sarcastic and angry rant... By KevinMarousek

Hereís what we can expect, thanks to the fine men and women of the Dayton Daily News: All Peace Corps Volunteers will be given apartments with bars on the windows and deadbolts on the doors, a Brinks home security system, and 24 hour running water, electricity, telephone, DSL and Cable TV. Each volunteer will be assigned two armed marines as personal bodyguards, and be driven to and from work in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. All food and drink will be imported from America. For security reasons, volunteers will be prevented from socializing with citizens from other countries. Gone are those khaki shorts from Banana Republic. Instead, volunteers will wear Kevlar riot gear complete with bullet proof helmets. All volunteers must have masters degrees and be experts in their chosen area of service. They must already be able to fluently speak the native language of their assigned country. During training, volunteers will be taught hand-to-hand combat techniques, as well as assault weapons training (naturally, each volunteer will be issued his or her personal AK47 rifle).

OK, enough sarcasm, but seriously - What do people expect this series of stories to do? Peace Corps already revises old safety and security procedures constantly, and devises new ones where applicable. Will the added pressure brought to bear by two Republican senators from Ohio force the Peace Corps to implement better techniques? When was the last time two Republican senators from Ohio forced a government agency to do anything better?

Nothing is resolved by exploiting these stories. It would have been better for all involved if the column inches had been set aside for the victims and family members of victims to tell the real stories in their proper context, instead of the molested versions published by the Dayton Daily News.

If Peace Corps Volunteers are limited to serving only in areas where their safety and security can be guaranteed, where on Earth could they possibly be assigned? You could put every conceivable precaution in place and people would still be raped, kidnapped, or killed.

How effective has this series been? Not even the tiniest little bit. If you believe otherwise, you are naive. Peace Corps administration will keep doing what they do. Mistakes will happen, or no mistakes will happen and people will still get hurt or killed. Thatís life in developing nations, or third world nations, to use the outdated term. They are called developing and third world because conditions are not as advanced as countries like England or the United States.

There is simply no way for volunteers to do what they do in a risk free setting. If they were armed, given special housing, or traveled together in packs, it wouldnít work. Volunteers need to surround themselves with the citizens and customs of their countries of service.

Something glossed over in many of these reports, in particular the ones depicting decades old stories, is that incidents prompted changes in Peace Corps procedure. One way or another, Country Directors such as Kristy Lordís are leaving the Peace Corps. In my own country of service, Kazakhstan, CD Wiley Williams is a distant memory. His impersonal tactics were replaced by Kris Besch, an attentive CD who makes herself available to volunteers (when I served, I had her home and cel phone numbers, as well as her email address). These articles werenít responsible for those changes. They came about as a result of evolution and growth within the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps is an agency which exists in a state of perpetual revision. New ideas are explored constantly. It doesnít need a bunch of off-the-wall stories from a bunch of third rate reporters to put the wheels in motion. The wheels have never stopped moving.

Kevin Marousek, RPCV, Kazakhstan

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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 - Kazakhstan



By daniel ( - on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 10:54 am: Edit Post

Here is Rant for you 1990-2000 Volunteer, that is "young guy".

The wheels have stopped moving and are stuck in the mudd when it comes to placing two volunteers at every site to reduce violence. Tough Guy! They haven't put two volunteers at every site. They have not helped wrongfully seprated volunteers.

You didn't have people unfriendly to America threaten your life or committ and act of Violence against you. Punk! I will use these words, because I take offense to suck ups like you.

Your thinking is the problem with changes taking place at Peace Corps. It has not fundmentally changed since its inception.

These issues have been boiling for years before your service. Change will take place in our favor and you will have to just sulk and complain. When you ignore policy presented to you and more serious problems happen, then nature takes over.

"You" help the unfriendly's, rapists, the unscruplous,and the country Directors like Kristy's. Even if staff like her CD leave service, then we get people like you, insensitive to rape, violence against americans, and throw your colleagues on the street in DC wrongfully without services or the ability to fight back. People like you, say oh, "they slipped through the cracks". The cracks are in the "crack you seem to be smoking". You don't know, so shuttttt up your face, you.

One injustice to one man is an injustice to us all. Paraphrase from MLK

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