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.
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.
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