RPCVs' letter re: Benin Girls Camps and Memorial Fund
This letter comes via Abilene RPCV Ryan Riley, a Benin RPCV. Please respond with generosity to honor one of our own.
Dear Fellow RPCVs,
Our names are Megan Grann, Jordan Steiner and Carly Loehrke. We served as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) volunteers in Benin, 2007-2009. In March 2009, Kate Puzey, a fellow TEFL volunteer, was tragically murdered in her village of service. Kate was an exemplary volunteer, a true beacon of positivity and advocate for justice. Throughout her service, she was actively involved in projects that benefited youth and women, in particular young girls. In Kate’s honor, we have started the Kate Puzey Girls’ Camp Commemorative Fund.
Kate was involved in the organization and implementation of several girls’ camps during her time in Benin. Girls’ camps are a popular way for volunteers in Benin, in conjunction with host country nationals, to promote the empowerment of Beninese girls. Sessions often include encouraging girls in school, health, women and children’s rights, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and other issues specific to Beninese life and society. These camps give girls an opportunity to share, learn and play in a safe environment.
Our fund works in cooperation with SIN-DO, a Beninese NGO dedicated to promoting and protecting women and girls, to financially support girls’ camps with grants of up to approximately $200. Last year, 179 girls participated in four camps across the country. Our hope is that with this fund, more girls each year will have the opportunity to attend a camp.
As RPCVs, you know the challenges of empowering youth, young girls in particular. But you also know the rewards - seeing previously shy girls blossom into leaders. Your contribution to the Kate Puzey Girls’ Camp Commemorative Fund will help a new generation of Volunteers and young women to reap those rewards while honoring Kate and her dedication to service and to a brighter future.
Contributions can be made online through the Benin Country Fund. The process to donate follows:
1. Go to www.peacecorps.gov
2. Click on “Donations”
3. Click on “View all Country Funds”
4. Click on “Benin Country Fund”
5. Click on “Donate”
6. Please make your contribution. In the comments section it is IMPERATIVE to specify “Kate Puzey Girls’ Camp Commemorative Fund” in order for your donation to be routed to the appropriate account.
The donation process is anonymous. However, if you’d like, you can email us at katepuzeyfund@... after you’ve donated and we will send an annual report once the camps have finished.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Thank you very much for your support.
Megan Grann (Dallas, TX and NYC areas)
Jordan Steiner (San Francisco, CA and NYC areas)
Carly Loehrke (Chicago, IL area)