Tostan, an NGO established in 1991 and headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, works to empower rural and remote African communities to bring about positive social transformation and sustainable development through a holistic empowering education program. Our human rights-based program has reached more than five million people across eight African countries. 

Women’s Empowerment

women have been selected for leadership positions in their communities, with many running for public office


people live in communities that publicly declared their intention to end female genital cutting

Child Marriage

communities have publicly declared that their daughters will not marry before the age of 18

The Tostan Model

Our three-year, nonformal education program puts rural communities in charge of their own futures. We support our partner communities to define and fulfill their own vision for well-being, allowing them to create positive and lasting social transformation. Our approach is:



Knowledge of human rights and responsibilities forms the foundation for learning



Information is shared in a non-judgmental and participatory way, using local languages



The program has impact across multiple areas, with sustainability at its core

Sharing our Model

Tostan seeks to respond to ever-increasing demand for its model from a range of local and international partners by providing training and support. Through programs organized at the Tostan Training Center (TTC) in Thiès, Senegal, the organization offers training and support to traditional and religious leaders, local activists, government representatives, and NGO leaders.

News and Stories

Long-Lasting Social Change From the Bottom-Up

Long-Lasting Social Change From the Bottom-Up

Earlier this year, Elena Bonometti, was  featured on an episode of System Catalysts, sharing Tostan's approach to wellbeing and our experiences with community partners. In conversation with Jeffrey Walker, philanthropist and co-host, Elena highlighted Tostan’s work...

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