944: Peace Corps Volunteer Murdered in Benin
- Mar 26, 2009
Peace Corps Volunteer Murdered in Benin
The volunteer, Kate Puzey was a 24-year-old living in Benin, West Africa. Last week on Thursday morning, friends found her dead outside of her house in the village of Badjoude where she was posted as an English teacher. It is believed that she was murdered, although, I haven't found more details than what's in this article at Finding Dulcinea. The official news is that she died sometime the night before she was found. --Gadling
Kate, as she was known to friends, maintained a (Blogger) blog here, and a photo album series on Picasa, which was last updated just a few weeks ago. Judging from both, and the comments piling up elsewhere, she was loved intensely by family, friends, and fellow volunteers -- and by the Beninois community that had become her home.--Boing Boing
Kate Puzey's blog is Being in Benin, here last post was dated October 14th, 2008:
We brought 22 girls together from two local secondary schools, teaching them about self-confidence, good decision-making, family planning, womens health, conflict resolution, healthy communication, etc. It was a good group- though shy at first they quickly opened up. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the end of the week but already in several days I watched the girls grow closer to each other and have more confidence in themselves. Though I was sorry to leave them, I knew they were in good hands.--Being in Benin
While there has been no official word on the manner of her death, the newspaper said that according to her father, Peace Corps officials have told him his daughter's death was the first murder of a volunteer in Benin in 40 years.--Finding Dulcinea
Jody K. Olsen, acting director of the Peace Corps, said in a statement that Kate Puzey was "an exemplary member of the Peace Corps family whose dedicated work as a secondary English teacher in a rural public school in Badjoude, Benin, contributed greatly to the lives of the Beninese citizens."
"Kate's life and work spoke volumes about the kind of dedication she had to her service as a volunteer, and the U.S. Peace Corps is greatly saddened by her loss," Olsen said.--Forsyth News
There's little I can add to the blogging and reporting about this horrible story. My heart breaks for Kate Puzey's family, for the community she helped support in Benin, and for the Peace Corps volunteers who have had their perspective changed by this story.
Pam blogs about travel and other adventures at Nerd's Eye View.
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