The Borgen Project, a nonprofit organization known for highlighting the issue of worldwide poverty in the U.S., held an informational event via Zoom on July 1 to educate San Diego State students on the topic of global poverty.
The presentation was led by Rose McDaniel, a public relations senior who is currently a PR intern for the organization.
McDaniel began the event by addressing how Here in the U.S. The Borgen Project promotes awareness of worldwide poverty. It focuses on four main principles: advocate, mobilize, educate and issue messages.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has faced challenges in promoting these principles.
“Normally with educating we would send people to meet with senators in person,” McDaniel said during the presentation. “With the pandemic, we’ve had zoom meetings and phone calls.”
McDaniel continued the presentation by presenting global poverty statistics. 882 million people worldwide live in constant hunger, 785 million people drink unsafe water and over two billion people lack access to safe nutritious food, according to The Borgen Project.
Marketing senior Sela Chinn said the presentation made her realize the true extent of global poverty. She said students should not forget about how differently poverty affects people who live abroad compared to those in the U.S.
“As a student that doesn’t actively watch the news, I believe that I was more unaware of global poverty than I should have,” Chinn said. “I think students get caught up in college lifestyles and forget to think about what’s going on outside, not just here in the U.S.
Next, McDaniel expanded on what poverty is, defining it as a combination of a lack of income, lack of resources, limited access to education and a lack of participation in decision making.
Lynsey Alexander, project manager for The Borgen Project, said having these presentations highlights the different ways people can take action.
“Many people don’t know the best way to get started, as tackling poverty can seem like a bigger mountain to climb,” Alexander said. “By highlighting the issues, the benefits for the U.S. in fighting poverty and the ways to advocate, this hopefully encourages people to address the issues.”
McDaniel concluded the presentation by providing different ways for students to help The Borgen Project.
Students can contact their representatives in Congress and inform them about global poverty and The Borgen Project. They can also donate to the organization, mobilize by sharing the nonprofit on social media or telling a friend, or volunteer.
During her time as an intern for The Borgen Project, McDaniel said she learned how much global poverty was affecting people around the world.
“This intern experience has been very eye-opening,” she said in an email. “I never knew the extent of what was happening in different parts of the world, nor did I know how easy it was to contact your congressional leaders, or that they would respond so easily.”
McDaniel hopes to take her experience of helping people with The Borgen Project and use it to assist others in her future career.
“I love helping people and want to pursue a job that I can continue helping people, so this internship was a good stepping stone for me to understand what I want to do next,” she said.
Overall, McDaniel said she hopes this presentation can empower students to make a difference in eradicating global poverty.
“I also hope people understand how many people need our help,” she said. “So much is happening in the world that can be fixed with help. With help from the U.S., we can make a difference in our country and the world.”
To learn more about The Borgen Project, visit their website.