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Since we began, our human rights-based education program has reached more than three million people, resulting in:
women have been selected into leadership positions in their communities
people live in communities that publicly declared an end to female genital cutting
communities that have publicly declared their daughters will not marry before they are 18
people, mostly women, have improved their reading skills thanks to our innovative training on mobile phones
villages have established their own community funds that help people save, invest, and grow
people have learned about democracy and how to make decision-making equitable

The Tostan Model

Our three-year nonformal education program puts rural communities in charge of their own futures. We help communities develop their own vision for development using an approach that is:

Human Rights-Based

Knowledge of human rights and responsibilities is the foundation for learning

Respectful & Inclusive

Information is shared in a non-judgmental way

Holistic & Sustainable

Program covers five key impact areas and has sustainability at its core

Where We Work

We partner with communities in six countries in Africa.

What’s New


Fostering partnerships to enhance knowledge-sharing at the Tostan Training Center

Our March 2015 pilot training is not over yet! 

Workshops at the Tostan Training Center (TTC) are proving to be useful platforms for interactive knowledge sharing, where participants and facilitators can learn from each other, and then bring their learning back to their respective organizations. 

“Edutainment” for the Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A Glance at Theory and Practice

Although Senegal as a nation has a relatively low prevalence rate of female genital cutting (FGC) — around 26% — that figure masks the much higher prevalence rates in certain regional and ethnic communities. In these regions, FGC is often regarded as a social advantage by increasing the perceived marriageability and social acceptance of young girls. Thus, community members see few alternatives and little incentive to change.

“Walking the Path of Unity” in Diégoune: Seven Years Later

For several months in 2008, the rural, southern Senegalese community of Diégoune became the setting for  what could have been a controversial film. Titled “Walking the Path of Unity” (or “L'Appel de Diégoune” in French), it gives voice to the key players involved in the movement to end female genital cutting (FGC) in the area.

From the rice fields, to a soccer pitch, to the local mosque, men and women explain with pride what events led to their collective decision to abandon the deeply entrenched practice of FGC.


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You Can Help Create Generational Change in Three Years!

Sign-up to find out more about this ambitious campaign to transform millions of lives in West Africa.

Join today for the chance to win a copy of However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph — the inspirational story of Tostan’s founder and an incredible movement for social change in Africa.