In Walk On My Own, 13-year-old Ndeye Fatou Fall tells the story of her community in Senegal, and the positive social transformation they have sparked for the health and wellbeing of girls and women.

The public premiere takes place on March 13, 2019, in New York City, coinciding with the 63rd UN Commission on the Status of Women. Join Tostan and ByKids for this exclusive screening, followed by a panel discussion moderated by human rights activist Naima Dido, with ByKIDS founder Holly Carter and Tostan Founder and Creative Director, Molly Melching, 7-10pm at International House, Columbia University.

Learn more and RSVP here.

As one of a 4-part series of ‘films BYkids‘, narrated by Ashley Judd, the film airs on local PBS television channels across the USA throughout spring 2019, and online. It will then be used as an educational resource to engage high school students on global social justice issues. Join us in watching and sharing Ndeye Fatou’s inspiring story – Check your local PBS listings for the national schedule.

Watch the film online here.

Her story through film

Collaborating with BYkids, a non-profit which mentors young people to create films which inform, engage and inspire action for social justice, Ndeye Fatou had the opportunity to direct her very own film in 2016. She recounts a day in the life of her rural Senegalese community, Keur Simbara, and interviews community leaders and family members about the positive changes that they made following the Tostan program in 1995. She shares with the world her experience of growing up in the first generation of young women free from female genital cutting and child marriage, able to pursue an education and determine her own aspirations for the future.

Find out more details about the production process on the BYkids website, and watch the trailer below:

Walk On My Own premiered in Ndeye Fatou’s community, Keur Simbara, on January 30th, 2019, with over 200 community members present to see their story on film for the first time. The Global Mobilizers who supported the project, Lisa and Mark Wheeler and their daughter Isabelle, were present at the screening, along with Tostan Founder and Creative Director Molly Melching, and important figures in Tostan’s history, such as Imam Demba DiawaraLisa was overjoyed with the community’s response: « Their reaction was beyond our wildest dreams, as they laughed when they saw themselves and even cried when they realized how their story of social norm change would be broadcast to the world. »

Demba Diawara – the Village Chief and Imam who pioneered the movement to abandon FGC in Senegal in the 1990s – with Molly Melching at the Keur Simbara premiere screening.

Ndeye Fatou is just one of thousands of girls growing up in the generation who inherited the positive breakthroughs sparked through Tostan’s program. Local breakthroughs such as theirs come together to form a global movement for positive social transformation, which Tostan is taking to scale in 2019. We are thankful to BYkids and the Wheeler family for this opportunity to share her story with the world.