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Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Melissa Mosvick

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 8, 2004 Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced today with deep sadness the death of Melissa Mosvick, a 24-year old Peace Corps volunteer serving in Morocco. Melissa died as a result of a public bus accident on Saturday, November 6, 2004, in the town of Ouarzazate in Morocco.

"The death of Melissa Mosvick is a terrible loss for the Peace Corps family," Director Gaddi Vasquez said. "Melissa went above and beyond to share her knowledge and skills with womens groups, artisans and people in her community. Her hard work and leadership were admired by the people of Ouarzazate and will continue to thrive in the lives that she touched."

photo of Melissa Mosvick
Melissa Mosvick

Melissa began her service in the Peace Corps on September 11, 2003. A U.S. resident of Apple Valley, Minn., and a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, she was living in the southern Moroccan town of Ouarzazate, known as the gateway to the Sahara. As a Small Business Development volunteer, she taught English and computer skills to the artisans at a training center.

But, Melissa went beyond her initial project and community assignment to assist others. This year, she expanded her small business work and began assisting an association for the handicapped in Ouarzazate. She taught glass painting to artisans, who then were able to sell their items for profit. Melissas work was recognized and very much appreciated in the Ouarzazate community, as her supervisor and counterpart heralded positive feedback about Melissas work to Peace Corps Program Manager Bouchra El Achkar.

Committed to the Peace Corps mission, Melissa recently helped 20 Small Business Trainees transition in Morocco, as she facilitated several cross-cultural training sessions about her experiences. Melissas leadership this summer in the village of Tazarine to train another womens association group in the use of computers helped pave the way for the development of a work site for future Peace Corps Volunteers to make a difference.

Melissa is survived by her parents, a sister, and several other relatives. Peace Corps Morocco is planning a memorial service in her honor for volunteers and staff.

On Saturday, the Governor of Ouarzazate contacted the Peace Corps staff to offer his deepest condolences.

"The Peace Corps family is deeply saddened by Melissas death. She embodied the best traditions of Peace Corps Volunteers, and her life and work will be deeply missed by all who knew and worked with her," said Director Vasquez. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. In memory of Melissa Mosvick, the Peace Corps flag will be flown at half-staff on the day of her memorial service."

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