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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


Solar-Powered Progress: A Photo Essay

With efforts from the Empowered Community Network, 262 solar batteries were distributed with support from the Ed Nef Foundation to 150 households in Keur Simbara, Kobongoye and Soudiane.

"Every bright day starts with a rising sun"

There are few things more inspiring than when people come together and decide to take a stand for real and lasting change--a change they believe is necessary in order for future generations to not only live a life of dignity, but also to thrive in an increasingly interconnected global society.

Press Advisory - Growing Human Rights Momentum in West Africa

For over two decades, a human rights movement among rural communities in West Africa has been slowly and quietly building. That movement just hit its stride and is rapidly approaching critical mass.

Building skills and confidence in Guinea-Bissau

In West African communities, oral tradition is the norm. Knowing how to read and write depends on formal schooling, which is inaccessible to many citizens.  In Guinea-Bissau, the literacy rate is around 55% (45% for women) and even lower in rural areas where Tostan works.  This is why many Community Empowerment Program (CEP) participants were enthusiastic to gain basic literacy skills with Tostan.


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You Can Help Create Generational Change in Three Years!

Sign-up to find out more about this ambitious campaign to transform millions of lives in West Africa.

Join today for the chance to win a copy of However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph — the inspirational story of Tostan’s founder and an incredible movement for social change in Africa.