Stevenson Ranch resident Matthew Bruns is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve always wanted to live internationally and to experience a different culture. I also love teaching and helping others,” said Bruns in a prepared statement. “I hope to make many amazing friendships, make a positive impact in my community, and improve my skills as an educator. I am most looking forward to working with children and eating delicious Thai food!”
Bruns is a 2018 graduate of California State University, Northridge, with a master’s degree in communications studies. In 2015 he received a bachelor’s degree in the same field from CSUN. He will serve as a volunteer in Thailand in the education sector.
The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health or youth in development – and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.
Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 56 countries around the world at the request of host country governments, to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures. Volunteers have already returned to a total of 45 countries around the world. The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit.
Americans interested can apply to Peace Corps service at www.peacecorps.gov/apply.