One Virginia woman’s corps passion of helping people in need has become a reality.
Bettie Anderson, 73, recently headed off to Botswana to serve in the Peace Corps. Anderson, who was a Hampton University recruiter for the organization years ago, explained that her service has been a long time coming.
“Becoming a part of Peace Corps was a desire that I had more than 50 years ago,” she said, according to a Hampton University press release. “My vision is to be of service to others and build positive relationships that will promote the best of America.”
A Peace Corps spokesperson told The Huffington Post in an email that Anderson will spend three months in training. During this time, she’ll be living with a host family, diving into the country’s culture and language, the release noted. Upon her completion of training, she’ll then be sworn in as a Civil Society Capacity Building Volunteer.
Anderson will participate in various tasks as a volunteer, working mostly on HIV response. She’ll also help provide services to orphans, vulnerable children and their caregivers, at-risk youth, people living with HIV, or those affected by gender-based violence.
Though Anderson has just started her time with the Peace Corps, she’s been familiar with the program for a while. After she was appointed as Hampton University’s Peace Corps recruiter while a student at the school back in 1963, she became interested in the concept. The Daily Press reported that after losing her parents, whom she had been taking care of, she finally decided to pursue the dream.
“When my family obligations ended, I knew that it was now time to apply,” she told the Paterson Times.
Though only about 7 percent of participants are 50 years old and older, the Peace Corps spokesperson mentioned that age definitely has its benefits to service. In fact, the oldest volunteer currently in service is 87 years old.
“Older Peace Corps volunteers, including Bettie, have a wealth of life skills, professional experience, and tested maturity that prepares them to make a lasting impact in the communities they serve,” the spokesperson said. “And our younger volunteers often look to our older volunteers for advice and support.”
We’re wishing Bettie all the best of luck during her time in Botswana!