A glimpse into the Community Empowerment Program (CEP), Tostan’s 30-month, holistic education program, implemented in local languages and which covers the topics of democracy, human rights, health and hygiene, problem solving, literacy, and numeracy.

Dawda Sowe is a 12 year-old CEP class participant in the Fula community of Sare Jallow. Having heard about the Tostan adolescent classes from his Mandinka friends in 2007, Dawda has looked forward to attending them ever since. He is most excited about learning the Fula alphabet, as he has only been taught the English alphabet in school. His entire family currently attends the CEP sessions, and Dawda himself participates in classes after finishing his regular school day. Dawda adopted his 12 year old friend Fatoumata to teach her about democracy and problem-solving.

Ramatullahi Bah is a facilitator in the Fula community of Sare Jallow. She likes working with Tostan because she believes the CEP brings positive changes to rural communities. Since she began working as a facilitator in 2008, Ramatullahi has seen new behavior and traditions come into existence in Sare Jallow. For instance, the village now carries out regular cleaning exercises, and the Community Management Committee (CMC) coordinates hospital visits for children under the age of five and for pregnant women so that they have access to essential vitamins. The CEP class of 72 participants is increasing as it continues to be joined by new participants who are hungry to learn.