In July of this year, the Tostan Training Center hosted a 10-day training with participants from around the globe, on Tostan'shuman rights-based approach to community-led development. One of the July participants, Mariya Taher--co-founder of the organization Sahiyo--spoke with us about her experience: what surprised her, what she learned, and what she brings back to her work.
With a firm belief in dignity for all, Tostan implements programs across West Africa to support the most vulnerable communities in their quests for well-being and community development. Our flagship program, the Community Empowerment Program (CEP), is a three-year program that provides communities with various tools—human rights knowledge, problem-solving sessions, basic literacy and numeracy practice, project management skills—that communities use to achieve optimal and lasting development.
On August 9, we had the pleasure of meeting with Judith Rowland, Head of U.S. Policy and Advocacy at Global Citizen, at our Tostan Senegal office. Discussions that day focused on grassroots action, which aligns with our community-led approach to sustainable development and Global Citizen’s vision of a world free from extreme poverty by 2030 thanks to the collective actions of Global Citizens across the world.
In the Malinke language, the word ‘maradou’ literally means “welcoming land” or “the place where we feel protected and safe”. In the 16th century, a hunter named Massia Sidi was traveling with his nephew, Fanta Kemo. Fanta, who was also a hunter, killed a pig near a water source in the forest. Upon returning to the clearing, Fanta informed his uncle of the water source surrounded by two kola nut groves. Curious, Massia followed his nephew into the forest. When he saw the water, he exclaimed, “We have arrived at our welcoming land,” and the village of Maradou was born.
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