WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 – Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Cameron Willia Hali Burton of Glendale, California. Cameron, 25, died in an automobile accident in Malawi on March 20, 2017.
“Cameron’s compassion for others and drive to do all she could to make the world a better place are what made her a truly outstanding volunteer,” Acting Director Crowley said. “She was passionate about public health and was wholeheartedly dedicated to working with communities at the grassroots level. I know I speak for the entire Peace Corps family when I say we are devastated that her promising life was cut short. Our hearts go out to Cameron’s family and friends.”
From an early age, Cameron (Cami) embraced her love of traveling and helping others. Whether it was visiting relatives in Europe or studying abroad in India, Cameron was always open-minded and excited to learn about other cultures. When she applied to the Peace Corps, Cameron noted that being easygoing would help her thrive as a volunteer. “Being patient is a vital strategy to use when interacting with anyone, but especially when dealing with people whose culture differs from my own,” she said in her aspiration statement. Peace Corps staff are impressed by how committed and energetic Cameron was about her service. She worked at a local health center helping her community address concerns around malaria and ending preventable child and maternal deaths. Despite having been a volunteer for less than a year, Cameron’s energy and impact were notable. She was passionate about working with girls on empowerment issues and improving the lives of women in her community. She is remembered by her community as someone who cared deeply and was very dedicated to her work and to the people of Embagweni.
Cameron graduated Cum Laude from Tulane University with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health and continued her studies at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, receiving a Masters of Public Health in 2015. Her passion for helping others is evidenced in her volunteer experiences. Before her Peace Corps service, she volunteered her time building homes with Habitat for Humanity, giving swimming lessons to low-income families, working with children and their families in New Orleans’ Children’s Hospital, creating outreach materials for NOAIDS Taskforce, and conducting surveys for an organization focused on improving birth outcomes in New Orleans. In her free time, she enjoyed reading, writing, swimming, Zumba and watching movies.
She is survived by her mother, Carol Ann Burton, her father Alasdair John Hunter Burton, her three sisters Caitriana Elizabeth Mary Ahluwalia, Alexandra Donat Macphail Burton, and Gillian Lucy Anne Burton, her brother-in-law, Pranay Ahluwalia, and niece, Isobel Ahluwalia.
A memorial fund has been established that supports approved Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) health and education projects in Malawi.