When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March of 2020, the Peace Corps suspended nearly 7,000 volunteers in over 60 countries. Over two years later, Sammamish resident Liam Paup is one of the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service.
“I joined the Peace Corps to experience a different culture, meet new people, and use my skills to help others,” said Paup. “I most look forward to immersing myself in a new culture and learning from community members and my fellow volunteers.”
Paup is a George Washington University graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs. Paup will serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, Africa, in the education sector.
“The world is at a critical juncture,” said Carol Spahn, Peace Corps CEO. “The largest global vaccination effort in history is underway while other widespread health, social, political, and environmental issues continue to erode the foundation of our global society. Actions taken in the next few years have the potential to fundamentally impact development trajectories for decades to come.”
Spahn mentioned how Peace Corps volunteers returning to Benin will work alongside community members to support urgent development efforts, in addition to building critical connections.
Volunteer cohorts will be made up of first-time volunteers and returning volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. After finishing three months of training, volunteers will collaborate with host countries on locally prioritized projects that fall under one of the Peace Corps’ six sectors: agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, or youth in development.
All Peace Corps volunteers will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work, to include monitoring COVID-19 trends in all host countries. The agency will return volunteers to service on an ongoing basis until all overseas posts have reopened.
For more information visit https://www.peacecorps.gov/