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Volunteer & Intern

We currently offer two volunteer programs: the Africa Volunteer Program and the Washington, DC Internship Program. Scroll down to learn more about each program and how to apply.

"The trust that Tostan places in its volunteers is an intergral part of its own identity. During my one year commitment with Tostan, I progressively earned access to a level of responsibility and autonomy which is rarely given to young professionals..."

Guillaume Debar, Volunteer 2008-2009

Africa Volunteer Program

The Africa Volunteer Program is a great way to gain experience while working to empower communities across Africa. We encourages applicants 18 years and older from anywhere in the world to apply. College/university students, recent graduates, and Masters and Ph.D. candidates are especially welcome. We ask for a minimum commitment of one year and the possibility to stay for two years or more. Placements are full-time and competitive.

Tostan covers housing and weekday lunches and provides a small monthly stipend for all our volunteers. We rely on volunteers to cover expenses incurred during travel between the volunteer’s home country and work country, medical costs, and other personal incidentals.

In exceptional cases, we may consider applications for short-term/part-time volunteer service when there is a specific need. Short-term/part-time volunteers are not entitled to the benefits provided to volunteers who commit for one year full time.

For more specific program information, check out our Africa Volunteer Program FAQ.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year for January, June, and September start dates.

Application deadlines are:

We are currently re-evaluating our Volunteer Program and will post upcoming positions and deadlines when we have more information.

How to Apply for the Africa Volunteer Program

  1. Start by reading our Costs & Considerations document and FAQ.
  2. You can then complete and submit our Africa Volunteer Program Application Form. Keep in mind that the form must be completed in one sitting, so prepare materials ahead of time. After submitting the form, you should see a confirmation message. If you don't, please contact us.
  3. Once you have submitted it, send the following materials to the volunteer coordinator (volunteer@tostan.org):
    -Letter of motivation
    -Most current CV or résumé
    -Short-writing sample(s): 1-3 pages, non-fiction, on a development-related or Africa-related subject of your choice. You should submit one writing sample in French and one in English, or just one in English if you are applying for a position in an anglophone country.
  4. The Volunteer Coordinator will confirm receipt of your completed volunteer application.
  5. Finally, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact promising candidates with an invitation to interview approximately two weeks after the application deadline. Final decisions are sent by e-mail two months before the start date.

Attention: Due to national law, Senegalese applicants must apply for an internship through our human resources department rather than through the volunteer program. If you are Senegalese and wish to volunteer with us, please submit a CV and a letter of motivation either by email to rh@tostan.org or by dropping it off directly at our office in Dakar.

For additional questions about our Africa Volunteer Program, please email volunteer@tostan.org.

Washington, DC Internship Program

The Tostan Internship Program in Washington, DC offers students, recent graduates, and professionals responsibilities beyond a typical internship. Trained in nonprofit communications, fundraising, and administration, interns are given the chance to contribute meaningfully to our work while they gain valuable experience in an international NGO.

This opportunity is an unpaid volunteer internship though small transportation expenses are paid for by Tostan. Interns must be US-based, and are required to commit to a minimum of 14 weeks. Available internship position descriptions are located on the Join Our Team Page.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year for January, June, and September start dates. 

Application deadlines are:

  • July 15, 2015
  • For Fall internships starting end of August 2015

*Applications received after the deadline will not be considered

How to Apply for the Washington, DC Internship Program

Please complete and submit our Tostan Washington, DC Internship Program Application. Before filling out the Application form, please remember to have ready two professional or academic references with their full contact information (email, phone number, and mailing address) as well as an explanation of your relationship to them. Please also have in mind the position(s) you are interested in applying for based on the available listings. You will need to attach your cover letter, resume, and a 2-3 page writing sample.

Please note that while we ask applicants to indicate their preference of positions on the DC team, all applicants will be considered for all positions.

For questions about our Washington, DC Internship, please email internshipsdc@tostan.org

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