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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


Meet Mariétou Diarra: Social Mobilization Agent, mother, advocate for the abandonment of FGC

Researcher Antonia Morzenti conducted the following interview to get a closer look at the life of Mariétou Diarra, a Social Mobilization Agent who was trained through Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program. Mariétou’s story was also recently featured in Demba and Oureye: Unlikely Allies in the Movement to End FGC, a short film about the grassroots effort to end FGC in Senegal and beyond.

Evaluating Integrated Development Programs: A Workshop with FHI 360

Since April 2014, Tostan has been collaborating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ITAD to revise our monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to improve decision making for program implementation and strategic planning.

Fostering partnerships to find sustainable environmental solutions and build resilience

At Tostan, our human-rights based approach to community-led development builds resilience in some of the most remote and vulnerable communities in West Africa who have little access to basic supplies and services. The environment is an important component of Tostan’s holistic approach.

Marième Bamba: From child bride to social mobilization agent


According to ancient Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In my case, it began with a single local minibus leaving Dakar—Tata #31 to be exact—followed by several sept-places, shared seven-passenger station wagons. We traversed the barren, bumpy landscape deeper into the interior of Senegal, heading to the community of Soudiane, where Marième Bamba was waiting for us.


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