Searching for jobs after finishing my masters degree was, at times, emotionally gruelling. Researching, applying, sending sample work, going to interviews and waiting for responses back, only to then receive that email. The email saying I didn’t get the job, usually because of someone having more experience than me. It was soul-crushing.
It served as a reminder that searching for – and securing a job – is easier said than done, and I grew to believe that there would always be someone out there who is more suited or better qualified for whatever position I applied for. That is, until I came across an ad on LinkedIn for the Borgen Project, a not-for-profit US-based charity offering internships for aspiring journalists.
Sure, the opportunity was unpaid, but this would provide me with experience in journalism, and expand upon my existing knowledge and attributes in the future. I applied, completed the interview and… I received a place on the internship!
The mission of the Borgen Project is to raise awareness of the global fight against poverty, and to make this a prime objective of national governments. Established twenty years ago by Clint Borgen (who also serves as its president) after volunteering during the Kosovo War in the 1990s, the organisation has gone international. It now has key members hailing from around the world, including the USA and Egypt. The international scale and reach of the internship is evident in the people that I have interacted with in the virtual sessions, who have come from different corners of the world. More information can be found here: https://borgenproject.org/
In my opinion, this international focus links perfectly with the research that I have done to gain inspiration for my articles. I’ve researched assigned issues including trafficking in St Vincent and the Grenadines, while also looking for other ways that developing nations are combating poverty. For instance, I have looked at the use of renewable energy sources in Southeast Asian countries as an alternative to fossil fuels, and how they are used across African nations to improve schools and enable children to study at night without needing to use candles. Furthermore, in light of the recent conflict in Sudan and the plights of those who’ve had to flee their homes, I decided to read about the use of technology to reunite people with their families.
Additionally, I have been raising funds for the Project as part of my internship, contacting friends and relatives via letters and encouraging them to donate to the cause and to lobby their local MPs regarding the overseas development assistance programme.
You can find out more about it here: and if you want to donate to my page, click on this link: https://borgenproject.org/faron-spence-smalls-fundraising-page/ For more information on where the money raised goes and how it is spent, you can go to: https://borgenproject.org/financials/