Gilbert native among 1st overseas Peace Corps volunteers since pandemic onset

Aug 10, 2022, 4:15 AM

(Facebook photo / Peace Corps)...

(Facebook photo / Peace Corps)

(Facebook photo / Peace Corps)

PHOENIX — Brenna Wojtysiak, a Gilbert resident, is among the first Peace Corps volunteers headed to serve an overseas community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Peace Corps evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries in March 2020 and suspended global operations, according to a press release.

Now that volunteers are able to go back to their service, Wojtysiak is set to work in Ecuador.

“My Peace Corps journey is over two years in the making,” Wojtysiak said in the release. “I was set to leave as a volunteer for the Peace Corps Ecuador in May 2020, but the world had other plans. I look forward to being a part of my community in Ecuador and working with them to achieve their health and wellness goals.”

She has a bachelor’s degree in public health and will volunteer in the health sector, according to the release.

The Peace Corps is recruiting volunteers to 48 countries at the request of host governments. First-time volunteers and those evacuated in 2020 make up the cohort.

Volunteers get to collaborate with host communities after a three-month training period on projects in one of six sectors: agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development.

COVID-19 response and recovery work will be part of volunteer duties.

“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 in the release.

“Actions taken in the next few years have the potential to fundamentally impact development trajectories for decades to come. Peace Corps volunteers returning to Ecuador will work alongside community members to support urgent development efforts and build critical connections.”

The Peace Corps currently has volunteers deployed in 23 countries and will continue monitoring COVID-19 developments, according to the release.

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Gilbert native among 1st overseas Peace Corps volunteers since pandemic onset