Riverdale resident David Crawford is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020.
The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a recent Morehouse graduate, I feel it is imperative that I give myself to service for the betterment of humankind,” Crawford said. “I hope to use what I learned in my studies at college to educate youth and assist others overseas in the area of community health. I am most excited to learn from the people in the community I will be serving.”
Crawford is a graduate of Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He will serve as a volunteer in Benin in the health sector.
“The world is at a critical juncture. 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,” Peace Corps CEO Carol Spahn said.
“Actions taken in the next few years have the potential to fundamentally impact development trajectories for decades to come. Peace Corps volunteers returning to Benin will work alongside community members to support urgent development efforts and build critical connections.”
The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020.
Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development – and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.
Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 42 countries around the world at the request of host country governments, to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures.
Volunteers have already returned to a total of 19 countries around the world.
The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit. Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong connections should apply to Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply.
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