The Peace Corps is Bringing Home & Firing Its 7300 Volunteers
It's still unclear who was involved in the decision, but America's 7300 Peace Corps Volunteers, stationed in 61 nations, have been notified by agency director Jody Olsen that they are being recalled to "prevent a situation where Volunteers are unable to leave their host countries." While that may or may not be wise considering that the coronavirus is spreading faster here than in many of their host countries, the volunteers were also notified that "all evacuated Volunteers and trainees, regardless of length of service, will be classified as having undergone a Completion of Service," agency-speak for "fired." For many of them, that is the worst possible outcome.
Kimberly Ruck, who is serving in Namibia, feels like she is leaving her post when she is needed most and believes volunteers should be given the option to stay along with the professional staff that is remaining in place.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Ruck: "We all know the Peace Corps volunteers would be far safer if they stayed at their posts," she said. "It doesn't make sense to send 7,367 Americans to airports and hotels around the world where they will stand in lines with hundreds of people for hours where the Corona Virus is spreading." . . .
Moreover, the volunteers, who are paid less than $14,000 a year, are not even eligible for unemployment benefits according to the agency, and their employment opportunities back in the States are less than favorable given the current economic conditions. And, because they were all fired, rather than suspended, they have not been promised positions after the coronavirus has passed. All they have been told is that they can reapply at some point in the future.
America's Peace Corps Volunteers deserve a bit more respect than this.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content