Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Blythe Ann O'Sullivan, Dedicated Volunteer and Friend to the People of Suriname

December 7, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 7, 2007 - The Peace Corps is mourning the loss of Blythe Ann O'Sullivan, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Suriname. Blythe died as the result of an apparent accident while working near her site in Suriname on December 6.
"Blythe was an exceptional Volunteer and dedicated herself to improving the lives of the people of Suriname," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. "Blythe's death is a tremendous loss for her loved ones, family, the Peace Corps, and the People of Suriname."

Blythe, 25, served as a small business advisor after being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer in August, 2006. Blythe worked with members of her community on a water project, and with women's organizations to fund and develop a village community center. A native of Bloomingdale, Ill., Blythe is survived by her parents, Joan and John O'Sullivan of Bloomingdale, Ill.

In her aspiration statement written when she joined the Peace Corps, Blythe said, "I hope that I can be a good Ambassador of the American values of hard work, determination, and perseverance. I want the people I am working with to know that I want to learn their culture and participate in it."

In one of her final calls from Suriname to her parents, she said to them, "I am so humbled by the challenges the Suriname villagers must conquer day-after-day. Here, each waking moment must be spent satisfying basic needs that, in the U.S., are virtually satisfied at birth. We can never do too much for these fellow citizens of our one world." Her unselfish service with broad smile shall forever grace the minds of the Brokopondo families that came to love her as their own.

Since 1961, more than 190,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. In the sparsely populated country of Suriname, on the northern coast of South America, there are currently 41 Volunteers working community health and small business development. Since the program began in 1995, over 250 Peace Corps Volunteers have been assisting in rural community development activities for the Amerindian and Maroon communities.

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