Even as I write this I am still processing the impact that The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act will have on current and future Peace Corps Volunteers. I first joined FRA because of a manual I wrote to educate members of my community in Kenya about domestic violence and sexual assault. When I began writing this manual I never imagined the end result would be playing a part in ensuring the safety of Volunteers for years to come.
I think of all the people I have met and spoken with since joining FRA over 2 years ago. The amount of collective energy, passion, determination, and dedication is almost too overwhelming to comprehend. But mostly what I think about is my village. I think about all the volunteers who are living in a country most of us could not point to on a map. I think of how isolating and lonely being a Volunteer can be and I think of how terrifying it would have been to been assaulted. Then I think of all the stories I have heard from Peace Corps Volunteers and what they endured even after their assault. For for first time since joining this campaign I am not overcome with anger and a sense of complete injustice when thinking of these stories. For the first time I feel a sense of hope that future Volunteers will not have these same stories. That their stories will include support, compassion, and empathy.
I am so proud of my fellow board members, of the volunteers who provided testimonies, and of all the Congressmen and their staffers who worked tirelessly on this Act. I feel honored that the legislation was worthy of Kate Puzey's name. I feel that a part of her will always have a protective arm around Peace Corps Volunteers.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A Sense of Hope: Meg Long's Board Editorial
The following blog post is from First Response Action board member Meg Long, who served in Kenya, about her thoughts on the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act legislation passing the House and being sent to President Obama. Meg has supported this campaign with Volunteer outreach, material creation and survivor support. Meg adds a sense of fairness, peace and justice to the work which has been vital to progress of survivor and whistle blower support.