Kiwi volunteer heads to Nepal for long term aid

Mitchell Borger of Red Beach will move to Nepal for three to five years.
Matthew Cattin/Stuff

Mitchell Borger of Red Beach will move to Nepal for three to five years.

At 23-years-old, Mitchell Borger isn't like most people his age.

In a time where many would be landing jobs and saving for a first home, the Red Beach resident is packing his bags to leave it all behind.

Inspired by the desire to help, Borger will move to Nepal in November to work for a social enterprise empowering marginalised members of society.

Mitchell Borger, 23, attended KingsWay School.
Matthew Cattin/Stuff

Mitchell Borger, 23, attended KingsWay School.

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With the aim of being away for three to five years, Borger will volunteer his help to the sustainable clothing enterprise's sales and marketing department.

Coming from what he describes as a "privileged background", Borger says he wants to take his skills where the need is great.

Mitchell plans to spend his spare time in Nepal hiking its mountains.
Matthew Cattin/Stuff

Mitchell plans to spend his spare time in Nepal hiking its mountains.

"I think most people would think I'd be going into a white collar job, but I never saw that as something for me," he said.

Borger says he can get nervous about the idea of coming home without money to his name, but believes he is working for something more.

"Life is more important than trying to accumulate wealth. I think we're short sighted as a society and we tend to see wealth as the make or break," Borger said.

"I've come to discover than living below the poverty line can be life giving. You learn more about yourself, and it grows you as an individual."

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If all goes to plan, the social enterprise will become sustainable in several years, meaning Borger and other foreign workers can move out and leave it with the locals.

It's a style of foreign aid that resonates with Borger's ideologies.

"It's very much about local empowerment, and I think that's the best kind of development," he said.

"The locals will have the destiny of their economy in their own hands."

Borger says his independence comes, in part, from losing his father as a teenager.

"I was forced to - in a sense - grow up, and that meant I had to change the way I was viewing the world," he said.

Borger has a commerce degree majoring in international business, innovation and entrepreneurship, and has previous experience in Bolivia, Kathmandu, Tanzania and Vanuatu.

He is currently raising funds to support his stay as he will not be on salary.

Email mitch.borger@gmail.com to help.

 - Rodney Times

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