Anime Series
Anime is a style of Japanese animation shown in anime series and animated films. This type of animation varies in categories, and it can be aimed at adult audience as well as a younger audience. Many anime series and films present characters that have Japanese customs that develop in cities or places from Japan, showing the audience some Japanese manners, customs, places and ideologies from the country.

Anime genres can vary depending on the plot of the series or films. Some of the genres that these animations have are adventure, action, comedy, drama, fantasy, harem (anime that involves one male character and many female characters), historical, horror, mystery, magic, kids, shoujo (anime for young girls), shounen (anime for young boys), slice of life (naturalistic anime), among others.

Listed below are anime series or films of different genres that talk about poverty.


Top Japanese Films and Anime Series Tackling Poverty


Binbou Shimai Monogatari (Poor Sisters Story)
This animation tells the story of two sisters overcoming poverty after the death of their mother and their father’s abandonment. Both sisters decide to support each other in order to fight for the betterment of their lives. Kyo, the oldest sister, studies and takes temporary jobs while Asu, the youngest sister, is in charge of household chores and managing finances. The story centers in the relationship and support that these sisters have for each other.

This anime series was first aired in 2006 and counts with 10 episodes of 24 minutes each. It is considered an animation for all ages.

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Maid-Sama!)
This anime develops in a once all-boys school called Seika High School. After becoming a co-ed school, the female population is still a minority and it is hard for females to thrive in the school.

Character and student Misaki Ayuzawa decides to make the school a better place for the female population. She becomes the first female student council president of the school, and the hope for various teachers and fellow female schoolmates. Notwithstanding, Ayuzawa works as a part-time maid in a café in order to support her family. One day, her male schoolmate Takumi Usui discovers her secret occupation and starts taking interest in her.

The series was first aired in 2010 and has 26 episodes, each 24 minutes long. It is an animation directed to an audience of 13 or older.

Tokyo Godfathers
This is an animated film about three homeless people (an alcoholic, a trans woman and a runway girl) living in Tokyo who find a baby while looking through trash on Christmas Eve. The three homeless companions look for clues and search through the city of Tokyo to find the newborn’s parent. During their search, the homeless have comforting memories about their almost-abandoned life.

The film was aired in 2003 and it is 1 hour and 32 minutes long. It is directed to an audience of 13 or older.

Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette
This is an anime based on the classic novel, “Les Misérables.” The story develops in an early 19th century France and is about a young girl named Cosette who travels with her mother who is struggling to find a job and a place to live. Once her mother gets a job, Cosette has to separate from her mother and ends up with a caretaker who later makes her an indentured servant. The mayor observes these situations and decides to take action.

The anime was first aired in 2007 and counts with 52 episodes of 24 minutes each. It is an animation suitable for all ages.

Flanders no Inu (A Dog of Flanders)
This anime series is about a poor orphan with a talent for drawing named Nello Tarth. Nello lives with his grandfather and helps him with milk delivery. One day, he finds and helps an abandoned and mistreated working dog that will later create a bonding friendship with Nello.

Nello has Alois Cojez, the daughter of the richest man in the village, as his best friend. During his adventure, Nello will have to experience rejection from people in the village and from Alois’s father, who believes he cannot make a living out of drawing, but Nellos perseverance will lead him to achieve his dream.

The series was first aired in 1975. There are 52 episodes of 26 minutes each, and it is a show for all ages.

Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: My Anime List 1, My Anime List 2, My Anime List 3, My Anime List 4, My Anime List 5, My Anime List 6
Photo: Entertainment Guide Film TV

The 2015 Global Citizen Festival seeks to spread awareness of world poverty through music. The concert takes place on September 26 on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City.

In 2000, countries around the world joined together to create the Millennium Development Goals, a kind of 15-year checklist for tackling world issues such as hunger, disease, lack of shelter, education and gender equality. For four years, the Global Citizen Festival has sought to engage citizens and world leaders with pressing world issues. This year, the concert aims to bring attention to the United Nations’ Global Goals, which are 17 new objectives for ending extreme poverty by 2030. World leaders from 193 countries will solidify these objectives in September.

Performers at the concert include Beyoncé, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Pearl Jam.

Beyoncé’s organization, Chime for Change, partners with the event. The group strives to empower, educate and protect women and girls around the world. Beyoncé hopes the concert will bring hundreds of initiatives that are dedicated to changing lives.

Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, agreed be the creative curator of the festival for the next 15 years, the same amount of time that the United Nations hopes to completely eradicate poverty.

English singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran says, “I look forward to sharing the stage with such an amazing lineup of artists in an effort to raise awareness, educate others and work toward the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. I truly believe it’s possible if we all work together.”

“People living on less than $1.50 a day deserve the opportunity to lift themselves up out of extreme poverty,” added Pearl Jam guitarist, Stone Gossard.

Tickets to the concert are free. All that is required is a promise to take action against injustices around the world. Some of these actions could include sending emails to political leaders, signing petitions or making phone calls or sending tweets to senators.

The steps to earn tickets are called Action Journeys. By completing each action, participants are entered into a drawing to receive two tickets. After each drawing, new Action Journeys are opened. Not only will participants increase their chances of winning tickets by completing more Action Journeys, but they will also be increasing awareness of world issues.

The Global Citizen Festival will be targeting six essential world problems: girls and women, food and hunger, education, global health, water, sanitation and hygiene, and financing.

Chief executive of the Global Poverty Project, Hugh Evans, says, “The world has halved extreme poverty in the last 15 years, but to end it in the next 15, there’s a whole lot of things we need to make that a reality.”

To participate in the Action Journeys or to see more information, visit

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: ArtsBeat, BBC, Cosmopolitan, Global Citizen, Rappler, Rolling Stone
Photo: Digital Trends

What do Selena Gomez, Sarah Jessica Parker and David Beckham have in common? They are all Celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors for UNICEF.

Founded in 1946 by the United Nations and made a permanent organization of the United Nations in 1953, the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, works to ensure the rights of children. According to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, children have rights to education, protection, health care, shelter and good nutrition. In the poorest regions of the world, children may be denied these rights because of a lack of access to resources, goods and services.

UNICEF has celebrity ambassadors and supporters in countries around the globe. The ambassadors help to raise awareness of global children’s needs, advocate to world leaders for children’s rights and set an example as globally aware citizens. There are three types of Goodwill Ambassadors and Advocates: international, regional and national. These advocates raise awareness internationally, regionally or nationally, with respect to their position.

The Celebrity Goodwill Ambassador program began in 1954 with its first ambassador, the famous entertainer on the screen and on Broadway, Danny Kaye. Following Kaye were other notable performers, actors, singers, athletes and celebrities. One such actor was Audrey Hepburn, who became a Goodwill Ambassador in 1989. In her time as an ambassador, Hepburn traveled to Turkey, Venezuela, Sudan and many other places, advocating for the rights of children.

Currently, there are over 20 international ambassadors, some of which include:

-Katy Perry: She was appointed to Goodwill Ambassador in 2013. Prior to this appointment, Perry had already visited Madagascar with UNICEF, and UNICEF used her song “Roar” in a public service announcement to help inspire girls.

-Liam Neeson: He became a Goodwilll Ambassador in 2011. Famous for his acting on Broadway and in feature films, such as Taken, which discusses trafficking in children and sexual exploitation, Neeson uses his fame to raise awareness of UNICEF’s causes, such as HIV and AIDS programs in Africa.

-David Beckham: Famous for his soccer skills on Manchester United, he used his interest in sports when he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2005, focusing on UNICEF’s Sports Development program. Since then, he traveled with UNICEF to places including Sierra Leone and the Philippines. In 2015, he started 7:The David Beckham UNICEF Fund, which furthers UNICEF’s mission to protect children’s rights.

These celebrities are making a lasting change in the fight for children’s rights and programs dealing with the results of poverty. With new advocates and ambassadors every year, it seems UNICEF will be able to positively change the lives of children for another 62 years and counting.

Rachelle Kredentser

Sources: UNICEF 1, UNICEF 2, Look to the Stars 1, Look to the Stars 2, UNICEF 3, UNICEF 4, UNICEF 5, UNICEF 6, IMBD
Photo: Daily News

Polio in Ethiopia
The World Health Organization confirmed that polio in Ethiopia has been eradicated after an assessment team concluded the evaluation process from June 8 to June 12, 2015. This last polio outbreak began almost two years ago in the Horn of Africa, specifically in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The assessment team consisted of experts from the Centers for Disease Control, Rotary International, the United States Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CORE Group, the United Nations Children Fund, the World Health Organization Headquarters and the World Health Organization Horn of Africa Polio Coordination Office.

The assessment team worked together throughout the outbreak in all three countries to determine that global standards had been met in response to the outbreak and that the transmission of polio had been interrupted. To do this, the team monitored updates from the Federal Ministry of Health on such matters as immunization progress and activities, funding aspects, communication and surveillance.


Polio in Ethiopia: Remaining Polio-Free


The assessment also provided a framework for the efforts still needed to maintain a polio-free status. In order to remain polio-free, Ethiopia needs to update its outbreak and preparedness response plan, strengthen routine immunization and fortify their implementation of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance.

AFP is the symptom that indicates that polio could be present. It means that limbs are floppy and lifeless. However, its presence could also be due to other causes. As a result, AFP must be reported in every child less than 15 years of age and tested for poliovirus within 48 hours of onset.

It is expected that there are one to two cases of AFP in every 100,000 children under the age of 5. If there are no reports of AFP in such circumstances, then a region is considered to be “silent.” “Silence” indicates a weakness in the surveillance system, and a failure to end this “silence” could prevent the eradication of polio.

According to WHO, “As long as a single child remains infected […] as many as 200,000 new cases could result every year within 10 years, all over the world.”

Polio is caused by a highly infectious virus, poliovirus, which invades the nervous system. However, 90% of infected people have no symptoms or just very mild symptoms that go unnoticed. In other cases, symptoms could consist of fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. One in 200 infected people become irreversibly paralyzed, usually in the legs. Five to ten percent of those paralyzed die because their breathing muscles become paralyzed.

Across the Horn of Africa, 223 children became paralyzed during the last two years, due to the poliovirus.

Since there is no cure for polio, the polio vaccination is the only protection. In Ethiopia, social mobilizers were successful in their efforts to raise parents’ awareness of the risks of polio and upcoming campaigns to vaccinate children.

It is these connections among informed social mobilizers, healthcare workers and parents within a community that not only leads to vaccination but also builds understanding and commitment to recognizing and reporting AFP to authorities.

Although vaccination and AFP are critical in the eradication of polio, this is not accepted knowledge everywhere. Taliban militants strongly resist vaccination campaigns and are considered responsible for deadly attacks on polio vaccination workers. They “view the campaign as un-Islamic and the health workers are Western spies,” according to The New York Times. Pakistan accounted for 85% of the polio cases reported in 2014.

Ethiopia reported its last case of polio on January 5, 2014. Kenya has also halted the transmission of polio, having reported its last case of polio on July 14, 2013. Somalia has not yet been assessed for eradcation, even though it reported its last case on August 11, 2014. The Somalian government is unable to reach approximately 350,000 children under the age of 5 in order to administer vaccinations, and the assessment team has found gaps in their surveillance efforts.

In spite of these hurdles, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, launched in 1988 by the World Health Assembly to eradicate polio worldwide, has made enormous progress. Since that time, the number of people infected with the poliovirus has dropped more than 99%. In 2014, only 3 countries remain polio-endemic: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Janet Quinn

Sources: Global Polio Eradication Initiative, The New York Times, Outbreak News Today 1, Outbreak News Today 2, WHO
Photo: Flickr

Having been married for two decades, supermodel Iman and heavy-rocker David Bowie have walked a consistent pathway in relieving several communities of hardships pertaining to third-world threats such as the harrowing HIV/AIDS threat.

In late 1990, the dynamic pair participated in a fundraising event, 7th on Sale, for the enhanced medical research in treating and curing AIDS. The pair would go on to serve as recurring donors and participants in foundations that conducted deep, thorough studies of the then-unknown sexual catastrophe throughout the remainder of the 90’s.

But even with impactful collaboration in donor work as a married couple, the pair has never ceased in aiding disadvantaging areas on a separate, individual basis.

In 1998, Iman partnered with fellow philanthropist Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott in a charitable cosmetic line, Misdemeanor Lipstick, where proceeds collected from each item sold were issued to the nonprofit Break the Cycle, an organization that works to minimize domestic hardships and abuse to help young children and teenagers to live safely.

Around this time, other philanthropic measures taken by the supermodel included her support for organizations alleviating the mistreatment against Somali native women, world hunger and HIV/AIDS-related crises. A majority of Iman’s charitable endorsements were further supported through her organization IMAN Cosmetics, which supports the “Raise Hope for Congo Campaign,” an initiative aimed at protecting and empowering Congolese women and girls.

With his spouse generating similar awareness, David Bowie has headlined global concert tours that assist in the betterment of drastic illnesses that take a toll on developing nations. Along with his famous contributions was his feature in the 1985 Live Aid concert, which generated funds to minimize threats of climatic and AIDS-related dangers.

Moreover, Bowie went on to utilize his live performing skills through another charitable opportunity, this time in loose hand-in-hand with wife Iman. In 2006, the groundbreaking rock musician collaborated with Grammy-winning R&B musician Alicia Keys. The two artists sung and performed live at a New York concert as part of Keys’ nonprofit Keep a Child Alive, an organization that works to rid African children of AIDS and poverty-induced restraints.

Iman was also involved in the lively event, as she and comedian Wanda Sykes served as hosts of the event’s black-tie dinner in celebration of the initiative’s planning and success.

It would not be long until Keys and fellow organizers appointed Iman as the initiative’s Global Ambassador for Keep a Child Alive after noting the model’s sincere elements in raising awareness for multiple pandemics across the globe. With a newly designated role, Iman launched not only additional fundraisers to support a variety of causes but also programs like “I am African,” a tool utilized to build awareness of the AIDS pandemic greatly affecting her native Somalian homeland.

As years have progressed, nothing has stopped this power couple’s path to giving back to those in need. With social media tools redefining the nature of networking for a passionate cause, Iman and David Bowie still remain fixated and up-to-date on endorsing as many foundations as they possibly can to improve the world.

Jeff Varner

Sources:, Billboard, CNN, Slice, Iman Cosmetics, Getty Images
Photo: ENCA

Most Americans don’t know that Macedonia, a small country just north of Greece, exists, let alone that it is a nation riddled with distress. Many facts about Macedonia go unnoticed. Gaining its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonia is a young country that still faces many challenges. Macedonia has yet to solve the dispute with Greece that erupted over the origin of its name, has restricted media freedom and has limited rights for minorities. Macedonia’s membership in NATO was blocked by Greece at the Alliance’s Summit of Bucharest in 2008, and as a result the nation struggles with economic growth.

The population of Macedonia stands at around 2 million, with a median age of 36.8 years. The population is growing at a rate of 0.21 percent, ranking 180 out of all the countries in the world, and there is currently much controversy surrounding the treatment of migrants to the country. The Macedonian birth rate is 11.64 per 1,000 persons (ranked 171 out of the world’s nations), and the death rate is approximately 9 per 1,000 (ranked 66 in the world). 57 percent of the population lives in an urban environment, and luckily almost 100 percent of this population has access to drinking water.

The rest of Macedonia’s problems aside, malnutrition is not much of an issue. Although between 1.3% percent and 2.1 percent of children under the age of 5 are underweight, this statistic puts Macedonia at 128th in the world, which not bad considering all the countries that rank higher and the few that fall below, including the United States and Australia.

However, this does not mean that malnutrition is not a problem, and this percentage should still be regarded as significant and given adequate attention, as no children should have to go without proper nutrition. The most urgent of Macedonia’s struggles, however, is the current conflict with Ethnic Albanians and the treatment of migrants, and it is key that these issues are dealt with first and foremost.

-Katie Pickle

Sources: CIA, BBC
Photo: Flickr

According to the UN Refugee Agency, Turkey is the top refugee-hosting country in the world with just under 2 million asylum seekers. A vast majority of the refugees are Syrians, Kurds and Iraqis fleeing the violence of the Syrian Civil War and ongoing crisis involving the Islamic State.

In an effort to bring awareness to one of the largest refugee crises in history, Angelina Jolie embarked on a UN tour of the affected region. The movie star and long-time humanitarian was joined by her daughter, Shiloh, and stopped at the Midyat Refugee Camp in Turkey on June 20th to commemorate World Refugee Day. Jolie was also accompanied by UN Special Envoy Antonio Guterres. The group met with Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss the challenges that Turkey faces given an unprecedented number of refugees.

Jolie issued a statement at the camp in which she calls on the world to act. She said, “We are here for a simple reason: This region is at the epicenter of a global crisis. Nearly 60 million people are displaced from their homes. That is one in every 122 people on our planet. Our world has never been richer or healthier or more advanced. Yet never before have so many people been dispossessed and stripped of their basic human rights.”

Later in her speech Jolie stressed the impact that refugee camps have on the people that house them. While providing more security than war torn cities and villages, the camps more often than not make the poor even worse off. Jolie stated, “Families like the six young people I met yesterday, living in Lebanon without parents, on half food rations and paying US$100 a month to live in a tent because UNHCR does not have the funds or capability to take full care of everyone.” Already with limited resources and away from home, refugees have the burden of coming up with funds to keep their temporary shelter even though, as refugees, they “cannot legally work in their host-countries.”

There is hope, however. Jolie made her speech on a key day, a day dedicated to bringing light to the very issues at the core of her delivery. Her celebrity status will ensure that more people listen to her message, and in turn act to help. Jolie and other media figures have even inspired governments to act. Jolie thanked the governments of Turkey and other refugee hosting nations for taking in millions. To finish, the actress wished all the families she spoke to, and by extension the refugee families across the globe, a good Ramadan with “Ramadan Kareem.”

Joe Kitaj

Sources: UNHCR, US Magazine
Photo: Women’s Day


Philanthropic people strive to promote the welfare of others through the donation of money, property or services. They come from all sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds, but there are several common character traits of philanthropic people who have seen success in their pursuits:

1. They are altruistic.
Philanthropic people show selfless concern for the welfare of others and venture to alleviate the struggles of others without seeking anything for their own personal benefit. Truly philanthropic acts are done without expectation of compensation or recognition of one’s efforts.

2. They are empathetic.
Philanthropists tend to be empathetic toward the struggles of others. They feel an obligation to do what is in their power to combat these struggles because they view the problems and the hurt that comes with them as their own.

3. They have heightened social awareness.
Philanthropic people tend to have great awareness of their surroundings. Not only are they open to opposing views and new ideas, but they also seek to understand the motivations and obstacles of others in order to better understand their needs and how they can best best be satisfied.

4. They are far-sighted.
People who want to make positive change in the world tend to look far into the future. They want to make a lasting impact on society rather than temporarily fixing a problem, and recognize that they must direct their efforts accordingly. They realize that in order to make significant societal change, it is crucial to address underlying structural issues by investing in long-term solutions.

5. They are politically involved.
In order to make structural changes in society, it is also necessary for philanthropists to advocate for political change. That is why many successful philanthropists are known to be advocates. They tend to recognize that while it is important to invest in programs that are shown to produce tangible results, advocacy is also important because it allows progress on a broader scale.

6. They are issue-oriented.
Successful philanthropists seek specific causes to support rather than organizations. They first identify something they would like to see happen in the world and then they go out to look for organizations that can best make this vision a reality. They recognize that specific organizations may be able to tackle one aspect of the problem best and then look for other groups to work on other aspects of the issue. They maintain a holistic view of the issue and use many tools to catalyze these changes.

7. They are business-minded.
Many philanthropic people look at their contributions as investments in society and the economy. They want their money and resources to be used efficiently and in an organized-manner in order to promote self-sustaining change. Accordingly, successful philanthropists look at issues through a business-lens, treating their philanthropic work with the same work ethic as they would their business. Just as they would to promote a business goal, successful philanthropists also capitalize on their resources, drawn upon their networks and use their position in society to promote a cause. This broad view pushes them not to focus solely on contributing to nonprofit organizations, but also to expand their support to for-profit business and legislative initiatives that will propel the cause forward.

– Arin Kerstein

Sources: Academic Impressions, Forbes, Long Beach Business Journal, PC World
Photo: Smarter Finance Journal

how to start a movement
The Borgen Project movement has led millions of people to fight global poverty, but even we have trouble explaining how to start a movement. An idea is simply a thought or suggestion for a possible course of action. And lots of ideas are good ideas. Some of them are even great; maybe even great enough to change the world. But it’s hard for an idea to get very far on its own. To make a significant impact, an idea needs to become a movement. It needs to inspire others to rally behind it and push it forward. has taken the guess work out of launching your idea, with a “How-To” guide to start a movement for social change.

The site breaks the process down into 8 stages, each broken down even further into step-by-step instructions. Check out for an in-depth guide to launching your movement, and to learn more about each of the following 8 stages:


How to Start a Movement?


Stage 1 – Plan and Strategize.
A cause is much easier to get behind if supporters know exactly what they would be getting themselves into. It’s also much easier to solicit funding if necessary, when you have a well defined plan. At this stage of the game, organization is key; you’ll need to keep track of your members’ names and contact information, feedback and advice from members and non-members, a timeline of significant milestones, etc.

Stage 2 – Build Awareness.
You need to understand the people you’re trying to engage. Figure out the best ways to reach them: popular social networks, classrooms, parties, bulletin boards, etc. Once you’ve decided where your target audience is most likely to hear your pitch, you can deliver an authentic story about yourself and your campaign that explains who you are, what you’re trying to accomplish, and why they should be involved. A brief video that appeals to people’s emotions can go a long way, and a catchy slogan and logo are important, because they can keep your movement in someone’s mind.

Stage 3 – Mobilize.
Encourage action through petitions, pamphlets, radio advertisements, picketing, parades, assemblies, flash mobs etc.

Stage 4 – Stay Safe. has a collection of articles on a variety of safety topics, from protecting your online security to surfing the web anonymously. There are even instructions on how to use the “I’m getting arrested” app for Android to notify your family or lawyer that you are being detained, should you choose to practice civil disobedience or non-cooperation tactics in your mobilization efforts.

Stage 5 – Access Blocked Information.
If you are running into a wall in your search for information, there are a number of circumvention tools to get around web censorship, and has laid them out for you. Circumvention technology finds an unlocked back-door to censored information. Disclaimer: there may be legal repercussions for accessing information censored by your government; so consider the risks carefully before engaging any filtered sites.

Stage 6 – Collaborate.
Build a coalition, or a group of individuals or organizations working towards the same goal. Keep in mind that not every coalition needs to be formal; there are benefits to working with other organizations in a less publicized way. Whichever type of coalition you choose to build, realize that trust amongst members is invaluable.

Stage 7 – Fundraise.
Money can be raised via traditional routes such as hosting events or placing donation jars in local businesses. But you can also raise funds via digital routes such as Facebook or Text-To-Donate programs.

Stage 8 – Keep Supporters Engaged.
With the amount of content on the internet, it can be difficult to keep supporters engaged over time. Posting frequent blog posts or status updates with gripping headlines that promote your campaign is imperative. Don’t ever assume that you’re finished generating interest in the campaign. It’s up to you to always keep people interested in the movement you began; just remind them why they wanted to be involved in the first place. And while you’re at it, plan and strategize for your campaign, build awareness with new potential members, mobilize, stay safe, access blocked information, collaborate, fundraise…

To make a significant impact, an idea needs to become a movement. It needs to inspire others to rally behind it and push it forward. Starting a movement can be a never-ending cycle that just keeps turning. The good news is, if it’s something you’re truly passionate about, you won’t mind at all. And if you follow the steps on to create a successful movement, you may end up changing the world.

– Dana Johnson

Photo: Blyden Consulting
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History of The Borgen Project from THE BORGEN PROJECT on Vimeo.

The Borgen Project Movement
In 1999, while working as a young volunteer in refugee camps during the Kosovo War and genocide, Clint Borgen recognized the need for an organization that could focus U.S. political attention on extreme poverty. In 2003, after graduating from Washington State University and interning at the United Nations, Borgen began developing the organization.

In need of startup funding, Borgen took a job living on a fishing vessel docked in Dutch Harbor, Alaska (the same location as “The Deadliest Catch”). From humble beginnings in one of the most remote regions of the world, The Borgen Project was born. One man with a laptop and a budget that came from his Alaska paychecks has evolved into a national campaign with volunteers operating in 220 U.S. cities.


all_inIt takes only 30 seconds for another person between the ages of 10-19 to be diagnosed with HIV. In total, 2.1 million adolescents are currently living with the disease. While work is being done to combat HIV/AIDS for all ages, many people do not know that a particularly vulnerable population it affects is adolescents.

Globally, only 20 percent of girls and 29 percent of boys ages 15-19 fully understand all the ways the disease can be transmitted. That is why President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and big organizations like NAIDS; UNICEF; UNFPA; WHO; PEPFAR; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the HIV Young Leaders Fund on behalf of the PACT and Y+ are “all in” on a new campaign meant to lower the HIV/AIDS rate in the youth population—called “All In.”

Those involved with “All In” have several motivations for this initiative. AIDS is not only the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa, but the second leading cause of death globally, which Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, referred to as a “moral injustice.” In addition, only one in four people under 15 have access to any kind of treatment for HIV.

“All In” hopes awareness will spread by creating hashtags: #AllIn and #EndAdolescentAIDS. Hashtags are typically used by adolescents themselves, so it could very well be teenagers helping out their fellow teenagers around the globe.

“We need to reach the adolescents we are missing and engage all young people in the effort to end adolescent AIDS,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “In fact, we cannot achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation without them.” So far, youths have shown they are on board: 200 young people from various organizations were present at the official launch of “All In.”

The ultimate goal for “All In” is to eradicate adolescent HIV/AIDS diagnoses entirely by 2030. They plan to do this by increasing prevention and treatment and, of course, getting the information out. Whether it is through trips around the globe or a simple tweet, lives can change by merely speaking up.

Melissa Binns

Sources: All In, UNAIDS
Photo: U.N.