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  • Melodie Paubert

A letter from the Director of Nofy i Androy: My eyesight is decreasing but my vision is expanding.

Dearest supports, future supporters, future partners, friends and family,  

It is with the greatest pleasure to inform you that Nofy i Androy (NiA) has been accepted to participate in the 2019 GlobalGiving Accelerator Program. GlobalGiving is "the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country." They have raised a total of $424 Million in funds and helps nonprofits in 170 countries. All new organizations who wish to establish a permanent partnership with GlobalGiving must raise a minimum of $5000 from at least 40 donors. Through such partnership, we can make sure NiA upholds its mission to empower women with the tools to fight child-marriage, gender, premature pregnancies and education inequality through extra-curricular education and life skills programming at NiA. Although the Accelerator period is December 3 through December 31, #GivingTuesday is also on $5000 and in order to make sure that we raise $5000, the NiA aims to raise $5000 December 3. Our #GivingTuesday campaign is titled 

A small team of volunteers manages Nofy i Androy (NiA) however with an annual budget between $8,000 - $10,000; NiA has proven that “a little goes a long way.” With such little operating budget. Most funds come from past #GivingTuesday campaigns—donations made on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving Day is matched. NiA also receives support from random acts of kindness from supporters through birthday fundraiser donations and a handful of monthly donors. All of these sources of funding is what holds NiA together and without them; NiA would not have had the capacity to help 120 students go to school—some of whom are in college now. This year we are participating in the GlobalGiving Accelerator program, and need to raise a minimum of $5000 dollars in order to become a permanent GlobalGiving partner. Through such partnership, we can make sure NiA upholds its mission to empower women with the tools to fight child-marriage, gender and education inequality through extra-curricular education and life skills programming.

My name is Melodie Paubert and I have been the Program Director at Nofy i Androy since 2016. I donate my time, energy and money to Nofy i Androy in order to meet the needs of women in my home country. Even though I have limited abilities as someone who is losing her sight with an irreversible eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, I want to use my current ability and privileges to empower my community. Although I am legally blind, I still see the world through a tunnel vision with a 10 degrees of visual field. After having graduated from three American academic institutions, my dream, my nofy, is to give back to my Madagascar. This has been my dream ever since I stepped foot in the US and I dedicate the rest of my sighted lifetime to helping Nofy i Androy students.

A handful or others and I have been volunteering my time to run Nofy i Androy because we want to offer Malagasy women education opportunities, career development skills and opportunities to live a full and healthy life. Inspired by my experiences growing up in Madagascar as a young girl, my motivation expands my vision for Androy. As a young Malagasy woman, I understand the needs of my people. Living with the many obstacles I faced growing up, I never imagined myself to graduate from one of USA’s top universities (University of Washington) and major in Public Health - Global Health, manage a girls education program with my mother who co-founded NiA, and work with the Seattle and King County Public Health Department. My mother and I did not have non-profit experience when we both stepped into Nofy i Androy but ironically enough, since I am going blind, we both have an expanding vision for Androy. Along with the NiA board, we learn the necessary steps to maintain Nofy i Androy on our own and so far we are making HUGE progress.

The American education I received and my resilience coming from a developing country is what privileges me with the opportunity to empower other women in need. College taught me that privileges derive from opportunities and education. As a legally blind person, I know that anything is possible if the disadvantaged receive tools to accomplish their goals. Providing women with education sparks change in many aspects, I see this “change” through Nofy i Androy where we make it possible for women to be the first in their family to graduate from a university. Some NiA students, like Miza and Soanatoloe, are the first to attend an academic institution in general! We make it possible for girls who live 2 hours away from the nearest school to live closer and save time. By giving them more funds to pay for rent, and food in Ambovombe, our students have shown significant increase in their overall GPA. 

As we celebrate this giving season with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I urge you to challenge yourself in realizing how privileged you are to be able to bring food at your Thanksgiving dinner table; (2) to be able to plan your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. GivingTuesday is also a day to celebrate your privileges if you are able to donate anything to Nofy i Androy. Many of the women we help are at Nofy i Androy because their parents do not have $15 to send them to high school and do not have money to pay for extra tutoring. Nofy i Androy parents don’t have $250 to send their children to college--some wake up and go to and from school without eating. I am thankful have gained privileges from my knowledge, education and abilities that allow positive change for the women at Nofy i Androy. 

Would you be willing to donate anything you can to ensure all women get their rights to education and sexual and reproductive health education? I hope you join us in this global movement by donating on #GivingTuesday. I cannot stress how enough how important it is to make your donation as soon as you wake up on December 3rd or as soon as the clock strikes 12 AM Easter Standard Time. This December 3, $7 Million donations will be matched but all that NiA asks is $5000. Will you help me and the NiA team raise $5000? Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

I am thankful to have such an amazing community and network that helps maintain Nofy i Androy every year. A little goes a long way and our project proves so. To learn more about our work in Madagascar, please visit our website.

Thank you for your time and generosity and I look forward to creating positive change with you!

Yours truly,

Mélodie Paubert 

Program Director

Nofy i Androy

Nofy i Androy is incorporated in the State of Washington as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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