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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


Nurturing the Next Generation of Learners

Did you know that what happens during the first few years of a child's life at home can set the stage for what happens in the classroom, and beyond? 

Training religious leaders to become community changemakers

Ousmane Ndiaye is an imam from Tankon, Senegal, where he has committed to serving his community and teaching the lessons of the Quran. As a prominent religious figure, his opinions and judgements hold much weight among his followers. Despite mild apprehension—some still see NGOs like Tostan as an outside interference to their communities and traditional practices—Imam Ndiaye recently agreed to attend a training for religious leaders on the Tostan Community Empowerment Program (CEP).

CommCare: A custom mobile platform that is changing the face of Tostan’s monitoring and evaluation

As we at Tostan continue to improve upon our monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, we have had the opportunity to partner with Dimagi—a software social enterprise that develops technologies to improve service delivery in underserved communities—to create an electronic data collection system.


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