They then outline the different steps community members can take to achieve personal wellbeing through their environment, most notably by organizing village clean-ups.

By removing unattended waste, village clean-ups create a healthy and sanitary surrounding for community members. They help nurture and sustain the physical environment and help promote community pride in the village. Participants apply the skills they learn in the CEP, including management skills and utilizing SMS texting for social mobilization, to organize village clean-up days in each country with which Tostan partners. Most recently, the Community Management Committee (CMC) in Boghe Escal, Mauritania collaborated with the city to effectively remove trash from the village, creating a clean and safe environment for all the families. This was just one of 910 village clean-up activities that occurred in Mauritania in 2012.

“Tostan has strengthened our community’s awareness of why it is important to have a clean environment. We have learned that if you do not have a clean living environment you cannot be free from diseases and you cannot be healthy. I think understanding that is really important.”

Fatoumata Sumareh, CEP participant (Touba Sandu, URR, The Gambia)