April 15, 2021

Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Face Uncertainty Back Home | NBC News NOW

as of last week all Peace Corps volunteers were evacuated from their posts and sent home to the US with orders to self quarantine nbc's mora barrett and julia gesture spoke to a dozen Peace Corps volunteers about what it's like to suddenly be back in an America they don't

recognize as our daily routines face disruption due to this confusion with the corona virus pandemic life is especially uncertain for returning Peace Corps volunteers the Peace Corps evacuated 7,000 volunteers for more than 60 countries suspending the program for the first time in its history as of Tuesday March

24th all of actors were returned safely home to the US so we wanted to talk to some of those volunteers about what it was like to return so suddenly to an America they didn't recognize turn my phone off of airplane mode and it just in like because we

got in the email that Peace Corps was evacuating worldwide and I just said you're being evacuated although it's a bad situation I feel that the Peace Corps at least for Peace Corps Uganda the staff they handled the situation as best as they could flight started getting cancelled border

started getting shut and so they just started pushing everybody through as quickly as possible we didn't go back to us normal us life so nothing feels normal it's difficult because we didn't just lose our job we also just lost our home and we lost our community and some

people like you know they were so close that you know it felt like family was being ripped away from them what would you like to see the Peace Corps do to help support the evacuated volunteers I don't think that three possessions is enough especially since this has been

a pretty traumatic experience we're knowledgeable for unemployment because we're volunteers and so I think the exact wording is like the nature of our relationship does not rise to that of an employee and an employer since everything was rushed there was no time to give all 300 of us

our dental exam our physicals our prescriptions all the medical stuff that we should have got and to add to that there's no way we can do it in the United States now either in less than a week it's now okay well time jobs now find health insurance now

you're going to start paying on your loans now you know what you can't go and see your families yet I wasn't able to hug my family so that was a little weird but also just kind of like staring at them in the faces of me and like I

did not expect this even a week ago we who I was so just thinking about like okay I'm ready to just kind of corn to myself in Senegal I'm just kind of like I still want to be back in Senegal they were very hopeful that we can come

back and if they do come back I definitely want to I was not ready to leave that I was mentally preparing myself to leave in seven eight months so there's a chance for me to come back I will I don't expect Peace Corps to be back up again

until the next budget I don't know if I will rejoin I feel like I've uprooted myself now twice and I don't know if I'll be able to do that again I guess like job-wise not like a lot of us you know get to this experience and expect to

come back with not only like a really good strong resume but also like a really strong job market there's no bartending job there's no serving jobs like easy cash even then it's not available anymore so yeah I don't know I don't know for us to not be doing

better is it makes no sense to me people look to the United States as an example and they notice when we masa I think you realize that also when you're abroad that people are watching us people are going to take things as seriously as we take them a

lot of the time we like to think of ourselves as an example and we didn't necessarily submit the example I think a Peace Corps spokesperson told NBC News that the organization took action when it did quote out of an abundance of caution to avoid a situation where volunteers

would have been stranded overseas as borders and airspace we're shutting down hey NBC News viewers thanks for checking out our YouTube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch the latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusive

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