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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


“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.

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.



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