The Borgen Project: A Quest To Increase US Response To Global Poverty
United States of America is the world’s only superpower. It is the strongest and richest nation on the planet as well as one with a population enjoying standards of living that people in most other countries can only dream of. With such credentials, you expect this nation to take the leadership role on most issues, be it economical or geo-political.
Indeed, it does that and plays a leading role in managing the biggest financial institutions like IMF and World Bank as well as having a decisive voice in global bodies like UN and NATO. But along with all this, is there also a moral leadership that the country is supposed to provide? And if yes, is it providing it?
Many people feel the answer to the latter question is ‘no.’ USA is not leading the world as far as issues which require moral leadership are concerned, according to them.
The decision of Donald Trump to take USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a big example of this failing. But what is even more disappointing is the American failure to lead the way in tackling issues such as poverty and hunger, which are not as politically sensitive as climate change.
The unfortunate reality is that the intensely divisive politics of the country has narrowed the horizon of issues in politics to merely internal ones and matters which don’t concern the people directly are not even touched.
Clint Borgen And The Borgen Project
Clint Borgen is a very unique personality. A graduate of the Washington University, he volunteered to provide aid in the refugee camps during the Kosovo War in 1999. This moved him to take serious interest in trying to make the American government more responsive to humanitarian needs around the world.
But he couldn’t just start doing what he wanted to! As a young man, he had to earn his living and find ways of supporting his mission. So, he took up jobs that would hardly be considered worthy of a man who is now one of the most well-known lobbyists in the country.
Be it manning a fishing vessel or working as a room service assistant in a hotel, he was earning not just a respectable salary for himself but also getting some money to fund his grand project – The Borgen Project.
The mission of this project is very easy to understand. It is meant to awaken the people of the United States to the humanitarian needs of the world and the potential their country has for helping the poor around the world.
Established in 2003, The Borgen Project is headquartered in Seattle and has a presence in 754 cities with volunteers. It has four primary areas of advocacy: global food security; food aid reform; newborn, child and mother survival; and access to clean water, sanitation and power.
Since Borgen is not a billionaire like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, he doesn’t have big coffers to put into the program. But what he does have are lot of enthusiastic supporters who volunteer to work in the organisation. In fact, the offices are manned by volunteers alone.
Methodology Of The Borgen Project
The way Borgen and his associates seek to bring about change is by getting volunteers in different cities and congressional districts to lobby their representatives in the US Congress to support measures for combating poverty across the world.
Borgen is a firm believer that change can only come from the bottom and has to be driven by the constituents of the politicians that sit on the Capitol Hill. He has the ambition to recruit volunteers in all 435 congressional districts that can do this lobbying and force the public representatives to take notice of their demands.
The Borgen Project has succeeded to a large measure in achieving its goal of becoming a major advocacy group. Today, Clint Borgen is recognized as one of the most influential activists in the country.
The Board of Directors of The Borgen Project today consists of some really big names from the corporate world as well as the political sphere. Very smartly, they have both a Republican and a Democratic congressman in this body to ensure that there is bipartisan support for the group.