2009.03.20: March 20, 2009: Headlines: COS - Benin: Safety: Fallen: Crime: Murder: Speaking Out: The Flat Hat: Ed Innace writes: Catherine Puzey's death is testament to sacrifice of Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Benin: Peace Corps Benin : Peace Corps Benin: Newest Stories: 2009.03.12: March 12, 2009: Headlines: COS - Benin: Obituaries: Crime: Murder: Safety: ABC News: Peace Corps Volunteer Murdered in Benin : 2009.03.13: March 13, 2009: Headlines: COS - Benin: Obituaries: Crime: Murder: Fallen: Peace Corps Press Release: Peace Corps Volunteer Catherine "Kate" Puzey dies in Badjoude, Benin : 2009.03.20: March 20, 2009: Headlines: COS - Benin: Safety: Fallen: Crime: Murder: Speaking Out: The Flat Hat: Ed Innace writes: Catherine Puzey's death is testament to sacrifice of Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.17.147) on Friday, March 20, 2009 - 9:08 am: Edit Post

Ed Innace writes: Catherine Puzey's death is testament to sacrifice of Peace Corps

Ed Innace writes: Catherine Puzey's death is testament to sacrifice of Peace Corps

As you may have already read, Catherine Puzey 06 was recently killed while serving in the Peace Corps in the west African nation of Benin. It is a sad fact that this sort of tragedy is not uncommon. Since the inception of the Peace Corps in 1961, many volunteers have lost their lives, and hundreds each year are assaulted, raped or robbed. This has caused the institution to be criticized for the lack of protection it affords to its volunteers. Another criticism levied at the Peace Corps is that it does not truly help the countries in which it operates because its workers are largely young and inexperienced. If both of these accusations are true, is the program worth continuing? I believe it is the true strength of the Peace Corps lies in the vulnerability and fallibility of its volunteers.

Ed Innace writes: Catherine Puzey's death is testament to sacrifice of Peace Corps

Catherine Puzey's death is testament to sacrifice of Peace Corps

By Ed Innace

March 20, 2009

As you may have already read, Catherine Puzey 06 was recently killed while serving in the Peace Corps in the west African nation of Benin. It is a sad fact that this sort of tragedy is not uncommon. Since the inception of the Peace Corps in 1961, many volunteers have lost their lives, and hundreds each year are assaulted, raped or robbed.

This has caused the institution to be criticized for the lack of protection it affords to its volunteers. Another criticism levied at the Peace Corps is that it does not truly help the countries in which it operates because its workers are largely young and inexperienced. If both of these accusations are true, is the program worth continuing? I believe it is the true strength of the Peace Corps lies in the vulnerability and fallibility of its volunteers.

The true benefit of the Corps, to the United States and other nations, cannot be accurately measured by the net economic and developmental effects volunteers have on their host communities. This is not the goal of the institution, though it can be an important side benefit.

Rather, the true power of the Corps lies in the human interaction between common people. The understanding that develops will hopefully change many misconceptions held by both groups and, from the ground up, create better relations between the United States and other nations for the benefit of all.

Many nations view the United States as either using its power solely for its own gain and protection or as attempting to impose its ways on the rest of the world. This, understandably, can lead to conflict that is detrimental to all sides. Positive interaction between the people of such nations and Peace Corps volunteers can, perhaps, counteract this view. This process is augmented by the character of the volunteers.

As many of the men and women in the Corps are young, inexperienced, modest and humble, the communities in which they serve get to see a side of Americans rarely shown internationally.
They do not have all the answers, nor do they pretend to. They offer whatever they can to help others, not to force their host country into some American ideal. Furthermore, their vulnerability as outsiders without much protection also shows others that the American people are willing to take great risks to assist the people of the world. Few of them are involved for the resume boost offered by the programs. If they were, they would never take such risks. These are people who truly care; the people they work to help will surely notice.

These characteristics reveal a much more sympathetic picture of Americans to those whose only idea of what Americans are like comes from their media and government. Inexperienced 20-somethings do a lot more to create general goodwill between our nation and others than if we only sent experienced professionals, each with a personal detachment of Marines, to help out abroad.

It is a great thing that so many of our fellow College of William and Mary students, like Puzey, chose to enter the Peace Corps. It is an important calling with many dangers. It is a special type of person who can take the risks inherent in this calling, making it especially tragic when such a person is lost.

Ed Innace is a sophomore at the College.




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Headlines: March, 2009; Peace Corps Benin; Directory of Benin RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Benin RPCVs; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Fallen; Crime; Murder; Speaking Out





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Story Source: The Flat Hat

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Benin; Safety; Fallen; Crime; Murder; Speaking Out

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