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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


Bringing Books to Life: Parents in Senegal Learn How to Turn Their Kids into Book-lovers

I returned to Dakar after spending a few days in the village of Keur Simbara, near Thiès, Senegal, where Tostan’s communications and programs teams made a series of six short films for the Reinforcement of Parental Practices (RPP) program, explaining why it is important to read to children while providing parents and caregivers with practical tips on how to read in a fun and interactive way.


Using Cell Phones as a Tool for Community Literacy and Development

The training of staff remains a critical component of Tostan’s work. This includes everyone from national-level coordinators to community-level facilitators who implement the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) across six countries.


Celebrating the Rights and Needs of All Children During the “Week of the African Child”

The crowd bursts into laughter as minors at the Diourbel prison in Senegal present a skit, with interjections from local actor and comedian Sonokho. The young detainees are using humor to tell the somber story of a father who, abandoned by his wife is left to care for his two sons. The father, as selfish as he is absent-minded, fails to register his sons’ births or monitor their schooling. This negligence leads to the sons’ outrageous exploits as one ends up in prison and the other becomes a petty thief.


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