It is extremely sad to hear the tragic news of the death of a young Peace Corps volunteer, who had been volunteering in Benin, West Africa over the past two years.
3 days ago, the 24-year-old Peace Corps volunteer from Georgia named Catherine Puzey, was found dead outside her home in a remote, rural village of Badjoudè . Her death is understood to have been a murder, though neither the US nor Benin governments have officially declared it so.
From the passionate personal blog of the late Catherine Puzey, you could feel her compassion to help, and her love for Benin. Here’s her public gallery of photos taken during her travels around West Africa. She was loved intensely by family, friends, and fellow volunteers — and by the Beninois community that had become her home.
According to the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Memorial Project, “more than 180,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries” since John F. Kennedy created the program in 1961. “Of these dedicated men and women, 274 have sacrificed not only their energies and time, but also their lives while pursuing the Peace Corps mission.”
As a volunteer myself who had spent some time in Tanzania, East Africa, reading such tragic news is hard to swallow. Africa did not feel dangerous to me, and it startles me with the danger that might lurk around the corner. It is scary to learn of such tragedies, but I hope it does not stop other Peace Corp volunteers from giving their help to wherever that needs them.
My deepest condolences to the friends and family of this amazing woman who’s given herself to building a better and more peaceful world.