Re: “Too Many Innocents Abroad,” by Robert L. Strauss (Op-Ed, Jan. 9)

Published in The New York Times: January 9, 2008
The Peace Corps finds itself less and less able to provide what the people of developing countries need — at a time when the U.S. has never had a greater need for their good will.

I stumbled upon this piece a day late, so I don’t know that my letter would be considered for publication. Here’s what I wrote:

To the Editor:

Robert Strauss wrote, “young volunteers lack the maturity and professional experience to be effective development workers in the 21st century.” I was one of those young volunteers, a tour I chose to cut short but hardly because I was inexperienced. I thought exactly what Strauss wrote when I was in Peace Corps training, wondering what I had to offer those I would eventually serve. Within my several months as a Peace Corps volunteer, I realized that as Americans, we like to do things big; we equivocate titles, status, and big machinery with legitimacy and effectiveness. Part of development means working to a point where development workers are unnecessary. PCVs are not replaced at certain sites indefinitely. The focus should be on empowering and equipping host country nationals to help their communities, not setting new precedents that cannot be met once PCVs no longer travel through.


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~ by dennetmint on January 17, 2008.

One Response to “Re: “Too Many Innocents Abroad,” by Robert L. Strauss (Op-Ed, Jan. 9)”

  1. […] in college or professional skills in that sort of setting, be prepared to feel frustrated. In my belated response posted on my Peace Corps blog, I […]

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