Saturday, March 16, 2013

Safety and Security as a Peace Corps Volunteer

Lesotho is a beautiful country filled with gorgeous mountains and friendly people but I still keep my guard up and stay vigilant at ALL TIMES! The children (and old ladies) tend to act as my unofficial "neighborhood watch" committee.  

One of my brothers is a federal prison guard.
The other is a sailor.
Many of my other siblings are in the military as well.
So when my family found out that I was moving to Africa to work as a Peace Corps Volunteer, they rightfully interrogated me about the organization's safety and security practices and policies (read: they panicked.)
"Can you carry a gun?"
"How will you stay safe?"
"How will the Peace Corps protect you?
These are some of the many questions they asked.
Well, I have answers.
Before signing the paperwork, I did a lot of research about the Peace Corps's safety record. I read with great sadness lots of reports saying that the Peace Corps wasn't sensitive to the health and safety of some volunteers. I had a lot to think abouth. Had to ask myself what I was getting myself into.
After much prayer, thought, and conversation with my family, though, I accepted the offer from Peace Corps.
Please KNOW and BELIEVE that I am very careful and use common sense everywhere I am here (like I did in America.)
I lock my doors at all times, I don't bring unnecessary attention to myself and I don't go out when it's dark. I am vigilant at ALL times.
I text the Peace Corps whereabouts phone if I leave my site for more than a day. Peace Corps must know where I am at all times. That's fair.
Peace Corps also has an evacuation plan for each country, God forbid any major event like an uprising or natural disaster should occur. And I, like the other volunteers, are in on that plan.
As a young woman living in a foreign country and volunteering for Peace Corps, I have felt safe so far in my service.
Perhaps, I've been blessed to haven't had any major incidences happen to me just yet.
Or maybe, like my family members in the military, I keep my guard up at all times.


  1. When you first said you were moving to Africa...I thought of your safety. I'm glad to know you are on guard at all times and I pray your continued safety during your time in Africa. I do think the Peace Corps should be more vigilant about the safety of all volunteers wherever they may be stationed.

  2. My first thought was the same as Crystals - when you said you were joining Peace Corps I was seriously concerned about your safety. Like you mentioned, I have heard some terrible stories. But I'm glad to read that you're staying vigilant! I know you're taking good care of yourself ;) Always nice to see an update from you, I hope everything is going great! xx

  3. Hey ladies! EVERYONE was concerned and a few people told me not to join the Peace Corps because of their safety record. I considered all the options, which included death, and I figured that I'd be OK. I didn't want to live with the regret of not joining the Peace Corps, especially since I'd worked so hard to get in. Also, I worked the night shift for almost three years; getting off at midnight, and I was fine. I hate to say this but violence/crime happens all over the world. I try to be as vigilant as I can. And the rest, I leave up to God.