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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


Interview with Mariya Taher from Sahiyo: Reflections on her Experience at the TTC

In July of this year, the Tostan Training Center hosted a 10-day training with participants from around the globe, on Tostan's human 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.  

The Power of Community-Led Development: A Special Look at Mali

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.


“For true sustainable development we have to focus on integration”: A Conversation with our Partners at Global Citizen

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.

Working Towards Collective Well-Being: A 13-Year Journey with the Community of Maradou

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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