Nichols Castle, Peace Corps Volunteer, died, February 7, 2013, while serving in China. The New York Times investigated the circumstances surrounding this death and has published a series on this tragedy. The first article describes these circumstances and includes interviews with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the parents of Nicholas Castle, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The Inspector General of the Peace Corps, Kathy Butler, has not yet published her report of the death; but the Times article does link to the public documents the reporter obtained for her report. Read the NYTimes story as well as the 467 comments received about the story. Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/world/asia/peace-corps-death-china-medical-missteps.html
The Times also published the accounts of Peace Corps Volunteers about their own experiences while serving. These stories include both positive and negative comments. Read the RPCV stories.
In addition to the 467 comments received about its articles, the Times published seven letters, including that of Peace Corps Director CarrieHessler-Radelet. Read the letters. Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/opinion/after-a-death-in-the-peace-corps.html?_r=0
(Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet published a statement that also appeared on the Peace Corps Blog; Passport. Her statement includes links to the specific changes Peace Corps has already made in its ongoing review of its health care system. Read her comments. Here is the link: http://passport.peacecorps.gov/2014/07/25/the-road-to-building-a-better-stronger-peace-corps/#more-1554 )
As noted, the Inspector General of the Peace Corps, Kathy Butler, has not yet published the OIG report on PCV Nicolas Castle’s death. However, in November of 2009, Peace Corps Volunteer So-Youn Kim, died “unexpectedly after an illness” while serving in Morocco. At the request of the then Peace Corps Director, Aaron Williams, Inspector General Butler conducted an investigation into that death. The Times does reference that report: Read the report: Here is the link: http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/PC_Morocco_Assessment_of_Medical_Care.pdf
All of these articles are very important, as is the role of the RPCV community. With apologies to Peace Corps Worldwide’s own Blogger Extraordinary Mishelle Shepard, it is imperative, I believe that RPCVs must find “the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to advocate to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference”