The Most-Read Blog Item on our Site

 

 

 

This is a sad and true and terrible story entitled “One mother’s story of how the Peace Corps failed her daughter.” It is also the most read blog post on our site. I first heard about what had happened to this Volunteer from Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers, an NPCA Affiliate group started by RPCV Nancy Tongue (Chile 1980-82). I uploaded the story on our site on April 26, 2016. Today, the story continues to catch the attention of readers. That tells me that when read, the reader mentions the story to other RPCVs who come to our site and read the sad account.

When checking Google Analytics, I see recently published items usually have around 100 ‘hits’ in any seven day period. This story of how the Peace Corps failed a Volunteer has had 60 or more ‘hits’ every week since 2016.

The majority of blogs posted on our site for any given week receive 0 to 1 Comments. “One mother’s story” so far, has received 28 comments, the last posted on March 21, 2019.

This is what that reader wrote:

I’m so sorry for your daughter and family and all that you all have had to endure, with nonexistent Peace Corps. I am currently going through medical and legal clearance for the Peace Corps, having received an invitation last month, and hearing so many stories like this is helping me confirm more and more that I just don’t think I can go through with this. I will be just out of college, and while I am so in love with the concept of the Peace Corps, it is clearly flawed and that cannot be overlooked. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s very personal story with the world. My heart goes out to you and Meghan and your family.

When posting the story on our site in April, 2016, I wrote:

This is a long, heartbreaking and true story of the experiences of a PCV who served in Malawi, became ill overseas as a Volunteer, and had the Peace Corps turn their back on her plight while overseas and when she was home again. Why the Peace Corps didn’t help Meghan Wolf receive medical care is the fault of the Peace Corps Staff and the Peace Corps legislation. Why the legislation hasn’t been changed is the fault of the agency, the US Department of Labor (the agency responsible for managing medical claims and loss of wages for Peace Corps service-related health issues) and Congress, which sets the budget and determines laws governing the care PCVs and RPCVs. RPCVs, the NPCA, and those who support the Peace Corps are also at fault for not having successful argued all these years to have the laws changed so sick and injured RPCVs are properly cared for after their years of service. Today, the NPCA is working for reform, but we have to help those RPCVs who are too sick to work earn more than the ~$22,000 they currently receive from the government. Here is why…..

If you haven’t read the story, you should. Go to this link:

https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/one-mothers-story-of-how-the-peace-corps-failed-her-daughter/

 

 

 

3 Comments

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  • John, Thank you so much for reposting this sad account.

    H.R. 2259 The Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 was signed into law on October 10, 2018 by President Trump.This new legislation is an important first step in ensuing care for Peace Corps Volunteers who become sick or injured as a result of their service. It does not improve the disability pay for RPCVs who are too sick to work because of service connected illness or injury. https://www.healthjusticeforpeacecorpsvolunteers.org/cpages/home

    Read this and weep: The death of this serving Volunteer occurred in January of 2018, after the article you posted received such wide attention and should have resulted in better oversight of Peace Corps Volunteers’ in-country medical care.

    Management Advisory Report: Review of the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of a Volunteer in Peace Corps/Comoros (IG-19-04-SR)

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/Management_Advisory_Report-Review_of_the_Circumstances_Surrounding_the_Death_of_a_Volunteer_in_Comoros-IG-19-04-SR.pdf

    “Our review identified numerous instances where PCMO Nizar departed from the standard of care as well as vulnerabilities associated with PCMO Nizar’s inability to effectively manage PCV Heiderman’s illness. These vulnerabilities were related to the doctor’s training and experience, as well as the support and guidance the Peace Corps made available to him, and together they help explain why the doctor did not suspect that PCV Heiderman had malaria.”

  • This is a truly depressing story. And it reminds me of one I heard in Tunisia in ’66. Prior to ’66, I was told, volunteers in Tunisia were permitted to own and drive motorcycles. However, one volunteer crashed and got a badly injured/broken leg. He requested to be taken to the American hospital in Spain, but the PC admin wanted to show its confidence in Tunisian medical institutions, so he was kept in Tunisia – at least initially. Infection eventually set in and when he was finally transported to Spain, it was too late to save his leg. As a result of this incident, Tunisia vol’s were forbidden to own or ride motorcycles, which seems typical bureaucratic logic! I used to know the name of this volunteer, but it’s been too long ago now to remember it.

    Phil Jones / Tunis / TEFL/ 66-68

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