Archive for the ‘Peace Corps’ Category

Passage of bill named for slain Peace Corps worker imminent

The family of a slain Peace Corps volunteer in Cumming, Ga., will get something like closure this evening, when the U.S. House votes on a bill intended to give more protection to those who sign up to serve in some of the most woe-begotten areas of the world.

Kate Puzey at the Togo-Benin border in November 2008.  Photo by Emilie Jacobs-Finnegan

Kate Puzey at the Togo-Benin border in November 2008. Photo by Emilie Jacobs-Finnegan

In September, the U.S. Senate gave unanimous approval Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011, sponsored by Sen. Johnny Isakson. House passage this evening would send the measure to President Barack Obama.

Puzey, a 24-year-old volunteer, was murdered in 2009 in the west African village of Badjoude, Benin, soon after she had reported a colleague for allegedly molesting some of the young girls they taught.

The former Peace Corps employee accused of slitting Puzey’s throat as she slept has been charged with the crime – but justice can be an uncertain thing in that part of the world. This bill may be a close as the Puzey …

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ICYMI: Johnny Isakson’s Peace Corps bill passes Senate

Late last night, as this latest showdown in Congress over spending suddenly vanished, the U.S. Senate indulged in a rare moment of bipartisanship and passed the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.

The legislation, named for a Georgia volunteer who was murdered in 2009 while serving in Africa, is intended to mandate better security and protection measures for those who join the 50-year-old agency.

The bill is the joint effort of Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Isakson serves as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on African Affairs, and Boxer serves on the Subcommittee on the Peace Corps in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

A House version of the bill has passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee and could come to a floor vote as early as next week – especially if House leaders want to demonstrate that their chamber can still function without tearing itself apart.

Here’s the background of the bill and Isakson’s …

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Bound by a daughter’s death in the Peace Corps

My family includes a 25-year-old daughter who recently informed her parents that she was filling out an application to join the U.S. Peace Corps.

So it has been with more than detached interest that I have watched a rare, intense relationship form between Harry and Lois Puzey of Cumming and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Peace Corps worker Kate Puzey back home in Cumming, Georgia with her brother David, father Harry, and mother Lois. MCT

Peace Corps worker Kate Puzey during a trip home to Cumming, Ga. — with her brother David, father Harry, and mother Lois. MCT

On March 12, 2009, the couple’s 24-year-old daughter Kate, a Peace Corps volunteer, was murdered as she slept — her throat slit — in a small, interior village in the west African country of Benin.

Only hours before, Kate Puzey had emailed her supervisor, accusing a local, male Peace Corps staffer of molesting village girls. The young volunteer asked that her supervisor keep the communiqué confidential. It was not — the man’s brother worked in the country’s Peace Corps headquarters.

Last week, several members of Congress, led …

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