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Breakthrough Generation
Generational Change in Three Years
Dignity for All
Abandoning female genital cutting and child marriage
Empowering Communities
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


“Walking the Path of Unity” in Diégoune: Seven Years Later

For several months in 2008, the rural, southern Senegalese community of Diégoune became the setting for  what could have been a controversial film. Titled “Walking the Path of Unity” (or “L'Appel de Diégoune” in French), it gives voice to the key players involved in the movement to end female genital cutting (FGC) in the area.

From the rice fields, to a soccer pitch, to the local mosque, men and women explain with pride what events led to their collective decision to abandon the deeply entrenched practice of FGC.

A Public Declaration in Photos

On June 14th, 2015 the Sangardo community in Guinea--with the generous support of UNICEF--hosted a Public Declaration. This declaration included 65 participating communities, all expressing their abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) and child marriage. Below are a series of photos taken at the event. Enjoy!

Ending an Old Tradition, Paving a New Path

This story is a chapter from our Breakthrough Generation campaign, celebrating Tostan’s 25 years on the path of human dignity. Over the course of several months, we will share 25 stories of leadership and transformation, all of which drive the change we have seen in the last 25 years.

Toilets, Sinks and Tiles: Demonstrating Partnership and Community-led Change

From soap-making businesses to functional health centers, Tostan partner communities thrive independently long after the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) is over. The Tostan Training Center (TTC) and Empowered Communities Network (ECN) work with leaders in these communities—and their respective Community Management Committees (CMC)—to help launch and sustain their own community-led projects.


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