The Androy region in southwestern Madagascar is one of the poorest regions of the country, and suffers from periodic drought and famine. As a result of poverty and harmful cultural practices, the Androy region also has alarmingly high rates of child marriage and child pregnancies, making adolescent girls much more likely to dropout of school and often harming their health. Parents trapped in desperate poverty have been documented to marry off their daughters as young as ten years old as a quick fix to their financial problems, and the often much older husbands frequently prevent the adolescent or pre-adolescent girls from attending school and reaching their highest potentials.
University of Maninday Toliara
At first, I almost couldn't make it into the program, because Nofy i Androy is very strict, you have to be fast. It’s very competitive and many students want to get in. There were a lot of us who competed to get in. At that time, my GPA was...six or seven? Six [6/20] They were very strict and really emphasized that they didn’t accept bad students. But I promised them that I would put in my maximum effort to get into NiA because I knew that my parents couldn’t keep up with my education if I didn’t get in this time. So, I did my best and I got better grades in the second trimester and here I am at a university.
University of Fianarantsoa
Major: Computer Engineering
"I used to be shy to ask my teachers questions in class because I thought students would laugh at me when I don't get something. I started being comfortable asking my teachers questions and clarifications. "We are women so I don't feel afraid to share my opinions with them."
I am a child of Androy. A child of people from villages. My parents are farmers and they have seven children.
Out of those seven, I am the first and the only one who went to school because we have nothing. We are villages who rely on farming but there isn’t much rain to help our crops grow, there isn’t enough harvested to sell and not enough to send the others to go to school.
What We Do
The Nofy I Androy program is carefully designed to provide adolescent girls the life skills, awareness of their bodies, and educational support and sponsorship needed to remain in school. Our program allows young girls to resist pressure to enter into early marriage or premature pregnancy or sexual relationships, and to become confident change leaders.
Studying for Success and Progress:
Creating the Leader to Change Madagascar
For most rural families in Madagascar, putting a girl to school can be a burden and often time girls have no option but marry early as a financial fix for her family. Nofy i Androy the burden of putting a girl through school off parents by financially supporting girls and young women education who are at risk of early pregnancies and early childhood marriages. Students are given aid to pay for secondary school, university tuition &fees, school supplies, books, housing and professional tutors.
Together, we can empower women!
Change starts from YOU!
Many Malagasy women miss out on education due to traditional early marriage practices, poverty, and hunger. Nofy i Androy not only supports young girls in middle school and high school but also provides aid to NiA students who are moving on to college. Most of the students at NiA are the first women to go to school in their families. With your help, Malagasy women can start a brighter future
What are you doing to make a difference?
'Nofy i Androy' | ˈn(y)o͞ofē ē ändro͞oē | in the Malagasy language means, Dreams of Androy. The Androy region is a semi-arid zone in southern Madagascar, known as the Land of the Thorns, for the widespread prevalence of the ecologically unique spiny forest.
The purpose of introducing computers and wifi to NiA is for students to build on IT skills, capacity building for staff, students, and the organization, as well as serving as an income generation for maintenance of our technologies. NiA is a small non-profit who, for so long, did not have the ability to introduce computers in the facility. This project was introduced by, and will be led by the Program Director, Mélodie Paubert--a Malagasy student from Androy studying at the University of Washington (UW) and directing Nofy i Androy as because of her passion for women empowerment and women in technology, especially in her own hometown.
The idea of having technology at NiA came to her when she entered Odegaard Library on the UW campus in 2016. She was shocked to see more computers than students present on the second floor. She began to imagine the NiA facility to have computers and what the impact would be like on the students, the staff, the organization and the locals in Androy. As someone who also grew up in Androy without computers and electricity, she is thrilled by her educational experience at UW. She has learned many skills that she wishes to teach teachers, tutors, students and staff at NiA to improve the education quality of the non-profit program. Upon her graduation in March 2019, she plans to travel back to Madagascar to lead workshops to teach introductory Microsoft application (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, and other fundamental basic computer skills which help students and locals students develop IT skills and research techniques to enhance student learning experience.
Additionally, Melodie hopes to recruit foreign volunteers, especially students at her Almamater - the University of Washington - to join her in leading this IT program in Madagascar. Foreign volunteers who qualify are also able to lead other skillful workshops in their field of expertise to help NIA students with personal growth as women in Madagascar.
Examples of these workshops include but are not limited to: entrepreneurship, Business, Women in Development, Sex Education, Women's rights & issues and Women's health as well as many other possible programs.