Jewish Life Kolot

Sabbaba BBG members "Stand UP!" for The Girl Effect

It starts with one girl. A single girl. It grows. It grows into a community; a town, a village, a city, a country, and a world. This is The Girl Effect. Give one girl the chance to receive an education, the chance to start her own business, the tools to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS, and allow her to create her own “ripple effect” for the community in which she lives.

BBYO Samuel D. Arons Chapter, Woodbridge, at BBYO’s winter convention held at the end of January.

For the past six months, the girls of Sabbaba BBG in Ridgefield have taken on the idea of The Girl Effect as part of the International BBYO push for community service, “Stand UP!,”  and have put it into action. They have collected tzedakah, watched videos about the Girl Effect’s work in underdeveloped countries, conceived fundraising projects, and planned social action events. But why? As young women living in a privileged community, the members of Sabbaba BBG felt it was their duty as emerging leaders in the Jewish community to make a difference, to make a tangible contribution to the betterment of society. Normally, helping a small, rural village in Africa is thousands of miles, and thousands of dollars away, from being a reality – but not with the Girl Effect. Sabbaba’s members have learned that just a few dollars can provide the money for a girl to receive a grant for a startup business. They have learned that $100 provides enough for 15 young women in Kibera, Kenya, to be trained in HIV/AIDS peer education. They have learned that $200 provides the funds for a young woman in Bangladesh to have a loan for a startup business of her choosing, and they have learned that having a voice for the 600 million girls worldwide who live in poverty without an education and without help is more powerful than any sum of money.
The Girl Effect allows us to be connected, connected to the world around us. Not only does it empower the young women of Sabbaba BBG, it empowers the women whom the money and activism benefits to defy the conditions in which they have been raised.
The 26 members of Sabbaba BBG, ranging from grades 8-12, hope to spread the message of the Girl Effect not only to the other chapters in BBYO, but to the community at large. They are currently at work planning a Day of Silence at Ridgefield High School in honor of the women whom the Girl Effect benefits and an event in conjunction with the Greater Danbury National Council of Jewish Women. Sabbaba’s members hope to spread the message of empowerment and hope to multi-generational groups of women across Connecticut through fundraising and activism projects.
It starts with one girl. A single girl. It grows. It grows into a community; a town, a village, a city, a country, and a world. This is The Girl Effect. Give one girl the chance to be an activist; to stand up, educate herself, and educate others about the young women her age who cannot stand up for themselves, and allow her to create a “ripple effect” for the community in which she lives.

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