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How the Peace Corps has been Impacted by Covid-19 with Kaitlyn Lawrence

Interview – Project Three

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Auburn, AL – On March 15th, the Peace Corps temporally suspended volunteer operations and sent current home volunteers due to the current pandemic caused by Covid-19.

The Peace Corps is an independent governmental agency created by former president Robert Kennedy to provide skilled labor and cultural exchange. By 2020 the Peace Corps had provided volunteers around 141 countries.

The agency provides volunteers the opportunity to work in a foreign developing nation for two years. It started in 1961 and has, for the first time, evacuated all volunteers and suspended operations due to the coronavirus.

Auburn student Kaitlyn Lawrence was planning on joining the peace corps June 8th in Guinea before the pandemic stuck. She explains that Covic-19 has impacted peace corps procedures significantly.

Lawernce says all volunteers have “extra time to complete [medical] clearances.” But they do not know if their departure date will be impacted yet. Current volunteers have been sent home and been told that they have to begin a new application if they want to join again.

Lawrence stated that if she were theoretically able to go, her training process would not be impacted because the staff was not evacuated.

While the Peace corps future is not clear, volunteers are eager to help as soon as the operation begins again.

Lawrence ended her interview by saying, “I just want to help in any way I can.”

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