Nofy i Androy began in the minds of three co-founders in the summer of 2007 two American men and one Malagasy woman, Meta Paubert Kaurin. The two men served as public school English teachers in southern Madagascar, and committed themselves to being involved with the Malagasy learning communities that they had been a part of during their two years of Peace Corps service. While these two are no longer with Nofy i Androy, Meta believes it is her duty to stand up for women no matter what it takes by giving back to her community. She was a teen mom, a high school dropout, who endured bullying. It took her years to go back to school and find the courage to finish University and be back on her feet.
In January 2013, Nofy i Androy began as a local tutoring program that selected female students from the public school to receive scholarship support through middle and high school (and later into university). We keep tutoring services at an unprecedentedly low teacher/student ratio, and incorporate a curriculum and an atmosphere of female empowerment, individual motivation, and confidence. We started with 17 students in 2013. We grow that number each year, and in 2018, NiA has more than a hundred young women of which 20 of them are already in college.
Since 2016, Nofy i Androy was managed and directed by Meta and her daughter Mélodie Paubert and has expanded its ability to support more girls in Androy.
Why is our mission so important? The region of Androy gets hit by a period of famine, or kere, about every two to three years due to lack of rain. That puts the region in jeopardy and ranks it as the poorest region in Madagascar. One of the most effective and long-term solutions to combat kere, poverty, and other chronic problems is through education, including women.
The Ntandroy tribe has been a male-dominated culture which has limited the value of women and girls to baby production and raising families. For that reason, some parents rarely have seen the value of higher education, especially for girls. So, Nofy i Androy empowers young women to fight gender inequity and gain confidence, independence, dignity, and maximize opportunity.
Nofy i Androy seeks to educate families and young girls about the problems associated with early marriage and childbirth. We hope to change traditions which have repressed young girls from becoming leaders for future positive changes. We focus on girls and teen moms so that they may more freely express themselves and thrive in their classrooms and their communities.
'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.
Meta Paubert Kaurin is the founder and Executive Director of Nofy I Androy. After emigrating to the United States with her daughter, she obtained her nursing qualification, and currently works as a nurse. Her daughter Nirikohoahy Melodie Paubert assists with fundraising. program coordination, leadership as she is Program Director, and is currently completing her degree in Public Health with a minor in Global Health at the University of Washington.
“Andry” Mahamaro Hery Andrianiaina serves as the Ambovombe Field Program Manager and Coordinator for Nofy I Androy. He obtained an MBA degree in 2012 from Chongqing University in China, and in 2017 obtained a doctorate in Economic Management from the same University.
Peter Bouckaert serves as Senior Advisor to Nofy I Androy. He holds a law degree from Stanford Law School, and is the Emergency Director at Human Rights Watch.
Jean-Michel Mahamoro, a retired teacher with 36 years of teaching experience, serves as history and geography tutor.
Monjalambo Radriakanavotra is a teacher of French with 18 years of teaching experience. Since joining Nofy I Androy in 2013, he has served as our French tutor.
Gustave Laha serves as Math tutor since joining Nofy I Androy in January 2016. He has six years of prior teaching experience.
Antoinette Razafinirina has served as Biology tutor at Nofy I Androy since January 2015. She has 25 years of teaching experience.
Sylvain Vestalys joined Nofy I Androy as Chemistry tutor in January 2016, and has 5 years experience.