Scarlett Gerber's MitzVah Project

Scarlett Gerber Is dedicating her Bat mitzvah year to raising money to send sarah chingwaba in tanzania through secondary school to help sarah achieve her dream of becoming a human rights attorney.

 Scarlett Gerber

Scarlett Gerber

 Sarah Chingwaba

Sarah Chingwaba

About scarlett's Mitzvah

Mitzvah literally means “commandment” and figuratively means "a good deed." It is derived from the word Mitzveh in Yiddish, which is a cultural touchstone for many American Jews. The Gerber's, a self-declared "non-traditional" Jewish family, have embraced the figurative meaning of mitzvah as they prepare for and celebrate Scarlett’s Bat Mitzvah year. To this end, Scarlett is dedicating her "Mitzvah" year to the good deed of raising $5,400 to ensure that Unite Scholar Sarah Chingwaba can complete private secondary school in Tanzania and become eligible for university to pursue her dream of becoming a human rights lawyer dedicated to helping disadvantaged children. Scarlett’s mitzvah will culminate next July when she and her mother Nicole will travel to Tanzania to meet Sarah in person, spend time with her family, and do service work with a number of Unite's programs across the country. Scarlett’s journey will end with a pilgrimage to Israel where she will be called to the Torah. 

about Tanzania & Sarah Chingwaba

Tanzania

  • Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world with 70% of the people living on less than $2 per day.

  • Of those who complete primary education (~elementary school in the USA), only 10% each year continue on to secondary school (~middle & high school in the USA), giving Tanzania the lowest secondary enrollment rate in Africa.

  • Only 5.5% of eligible girls in enroll in secondary school and fewer than 1/3 of girls who do enroll will graduate.

  • On average, Tanzanian adults have had 5.1 years of schooling; however, for every year that a girl remains in school beyond 4th grade her wages will increase by 20%.

  • Across Sub-Saharan Africa there is the largest number (202 million) of children & adolescents on Earth who are in school but not learning the fundamental subjects of reading and math, with nearly 9 out of 10 between the ages of ~6 and 14 not meeting minimum proficiency levels.

  • Only 0.7% of Tanzanian students will ever enroll in tertiary or higher education of any kind.

Sarah Chingwaba

Sarah, 13, is the youngest daughter of Reverend Frederick & Alice Chingwaba in Morogoro, Tanzania. Sarah has one older brother Emmanuel, 20, and one older sister Anna, 17.  Her father Frederick serves the Bishop of the Evangelical Anglican Church of Tanzania and her mother Alice owns a small store. While Frederick is highly educated (he earned a Masters Degree in Theology in America from the Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO), as the Bishop, Frederick earns just $100 a month, which is not enough to even pay for the uniforms of his children. So the family supplements his wages with food from their small shamba (farming plot of land) and Alica's store; however, many months they will earn less than $200-$300, which is hardly enough to survive. Sarah, who has always been a uniquely bright talented student was chosen as an inaugural member of Unite's new Scholars Program.

Sarah is is now peforming extremely well in her first year at B-Hilhorst Secondary and dreams of completing her secondary (high school) education in excellence so that she can become eligible for university where she would then pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer to fight for the rights of disadvantaged children, especially orphans, street children, homeless and refugees.

 

 Sarah, right, with her father Bishop Frederick Chingwaba, mother Alice and sister Anna outside the family home in Morogoro in 2018.

Sarah, right, with her father Bishop Frederick Chingwaba, mother Alice and sister Anna outside the family home in Morogoro in 2018.

 Bishop Chingwaba (center left in red) with fellow clergy members in Tanzania.

Bishop Chingwaba (center left in red) with fellow clergy members in Tanzania.

 Alice in her small "duke" (general store) in Morogoro.

Alice in her small "duke" (general store) in Morogoro.

 Alice working the family's small shamba (land for farming)

Alice working the family's small shamba (land for farming)

 Sarah (center) with Emmanuel and Anna in 2000.

Sarah (center) with Emmanuel and Anna in 2000.


“Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world”

– Larry Summers, former Chief Economist at the World Bank


Sources:  World Policy, World Bank, UN, USAID, Nation Master